Happy Birthday mouse

The original mouse invention which is now in use on every office and home PC turns 40 next week.

Looking like something that could take your fingers clean off, the wooden block with a single red button on top was unveiled to the world 40 years ago. Douglas Engelbart invented the mouse and worked with Bill English to build the device. In 1967, Engelbart applied for, and in 1970 he received a patent for the wooden shell with two metal wheels.

In 1981, Xerox included a mouse with their Star computer system, and a few years later Apple offered one with their Macintosh system. Microsoft then made it the standard device for their Windows operating system. In time the mouse developed, with a second button then in some cases a third and you can now buy mice with 5 or more buttons.

Unfortunately Engelbart never received any royalties for his mouse invention, partly because his patent expired in 1987, before the PC revolution made the mouse the main input device, and also because subsequent mice used different mechanisms that did not infringe upon the original patent.

Fast forward to 2008 and we have the HP TouchSmart desktop system, Apple's iPhone and a range of new touchscreen enabled devices that are keeping users away from using the mouse. Microsoft is currently working on Windows 7 which improves the use of touch in Windows.

Steve Prentice, an analyst at Gartner Research, said: "I very much doubt that we'll be using the mouse in 40 years' time."

Do you believe that in 40 years time we will no longer require a mouse to interact with PCs or will PCs even exist?

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The patent was applied for in 67 but it was revealed to the public in 68 - so its "release" (though I don't think this model went into production) was in 68.

Happy birthday, mouse! The first one that I saw was somewhat smaller than that, but it had the same basic design - wood with one button on top. Why were two-button, three-button and 20-button mice invented again? :P

Happy Birthday!
Do you believe that in 40 years time we will no longer require a mouse to interact with PCs?
Yup, can't imagine FPS without a keyboard and mouse

I'm pretty sure that the mouse and the keyboard are not going to be needed in future gaming. I think the Wii is pretty much ahead of anything related to gaming now, when it comes to new technologies.

Im sure that they ARE going to be used, because I have a Wii and there is no way I am going to hold a remote straight for so many hours when I play. Dead arm ftl :P

Keyboards and mice are one thing that I can see staying similar for another 40 years... qwerty keyboards are almost 150 years old now.

Reasons? - Tactile feedback (you know without looking if you didnt quite hit a key ... next time you are typing think when u mis-hit a key or dont quite hit it... you sort it out without thinking too much.

accesser said,
Really Cool I had no idea, I still recall thinking the first Microsoft ball mice where Uber smooth

Oh, heck yeah they were! They were the best mouse on the market by far for awhile. They just had a nice "weight" to them compared to the cheep crap that was coming out, then.

I remember having to disable the mouse drivers in order to free up enough RAM to play computer games on my 286.

This is probably the worst mouse I have ever used:

Shadrack said,
This is probably the worst mouse I have ever used:

I always liked the feel of that mouse the 2 times I've actually used it.