Microsoft launches black leather mouse

Microsoft refreshed its mice and keyboard line-up on Wednesday, introducing three mice with a tilting wheel for horizontal...

Microsoft refreshed its mice and keyboard line-up on Wednesday, introducing three mice with a tilting wheel for horizontal scrolling and in new styles and colours, including black leather.

Two of the mice are wireless and feature new battery-saving technology.

Microsoft gave a sneak preview of its mouse "Tilt Wheel Technology" last month. The wheel allows users to scroll left and right in addition to up and down without having to use the on-screen navigation bars, handy when navigating a spreadsheet or an unwieldy website. Users can also toggle between open windows by pressing down on the wheel.

Microsoft may license the tilt technology to others, the company said. Rival Logitech, however, has already said horizontal scrolling is not something its customers are asking for.

New optical technology delivers further improvements in Microsoft's new wireless mice. Battery life for average use in a wireless mouse has been extended to more than six months from four to six weeks, Microsoft said. Also, new smart receivers reduce interference from other wireless devices, the company said.

All three of Microsoft's new mice come with the tilting wheel and the two wireless mice have the new optical technology. The mice come in various finishes, including black leather at £59.99.

For those who want to reduce more cable clutter, Microsoft's Hardware Group also announced four new sets that consist of a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard: Wireless Optical Desktop Elite and Wireless Optical Desktop Pro, both priced at £99.99, and Wireless Optical Desktop for £79.99 and Basic Wireless Optical Desktop for £59.99. The two most expensive wireless desktop sets come with the Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer.

All products should be available in the UK by the end of October.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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