Microsoft announces new Windows 8 mice and keyboards

With the imminent release of Windows 8 to RTM – ahead of the next-gen operating system’s launch on October 26 – Microsoft’s Hardware division is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary with the arrival of new devices which it describes as "finely tuned for use with Windows 8".

Windows 8 will bring with it a wave of new PC hardware, including desktops, all-in-ones, notebooks, convertibles, and of course tablet devices optimised for touch input with the new OS, including Microsoft’s own Surface tablets, announced last month. But while much of the Windows 8 user experience is designed around a ‘touch-first’ paradigm, Microsoft isn’t expecting users to ditch their keyboards and mice completely any time soon. There is perhaps no better evidence of this than the two new Bluetooth-enabled keyboards and two mice that it is launching specifically with portable and mobile Windows 8 devices in mind.

 

The slim Wedge Mobile Keyboard will go on sale for $79.95 USD, and is perhaps the most interesting of today’s announcements. Its focus on Windows 8 is evident from keys that include quick access to features such as the Charms, and a Windows key that features the operating system’s new more window-like logo.  

While its slim profile and sleek design will no doubt appeal to many, it’s the keyboard’s cover that provides its real party trick. In addition to protecting the keyboard itself, the cover includes magnets that activate the keyboard’s power when it’s removed, but even more excitingly, the cover will also double-up as a folding stand for your tablet:

Also debuting today is the Wedge Touch Mouse, which will go on sale for $69.95, and features four-way touch-scrolling and BlueTrack, so it can be used on almost any (reasonably) flat surface. Another handy function powers down the mouse along with the system that it’s paired to, so that the mouse won’t go flat if you forget to turn it off.

Microsoft also announced the Sculpt Mobile Keyboard ($49.95) and Sculpt Touch Mouse ($49.95), an unremarkable but reasonably attractive pair of devices. The keyboard has a ‘comfort curve’ design seen on many other Microsoft keyboards (including the Mobile Keyboard 5000 that this appears to replace), while the mouse has a four-way touch-scroll strip in place of a wheel:

The company also confirmed today that the Touch Mouse, which launched last year, will receive a range of gesture updates specifically for use in Windows 8 “to incorporate finger swipes and movements that allow for navigation, switching through apps, and zooming in and out.”

One final takeaway from today’s announcement is the absence of the chunky, italicized Microsoft logo that we’ve all come to know, if not necessarily love. Recent appearances of the Microsoft name have featured the brand set in the company’s corporate Segoe font, but today may be the first time that we’ve seen the ‘new’ Microsoft logo used in this way on an end-user retail product (rather than just in a video or presentation).

The new gestures that will be supported are listed below:

• One-finger swipes allow customers to move naturally and intuitively side to side or up and down, shifting content on screen.
 
• Two-finger movements manage apps, switch through open apps and show app commands.
 
• Three fingers allow customers to zoom in and out.
 
• Thumb gestures navigate backward and forward within apps.

Source and images: Microsoft News Center

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Images of purported next-gen iPhone casing leaked

Next Story

Rumor: "Odyssey" and "Marco" WP8 devices coming from Samsung

35 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I bought the Touch Mouse (Quill has it on sale around 1/2 price). It does make it easier to use Windows 8 but the mouse is a little touchy to use at times.

Edited by hagjohn, Aug 3 2012, 12:28am :

Does this mean win8 will have OSX like gesture support from the get-go? Really the only thing I like about Macs. Well and the way their keyboard/hardware look.

qdave said,
So much for advancement in ergonomics.

Yeah, I know.

I just want a Natural keyboard with a detached number pad. The keyboard is currently perfect for left-handed users. But for right-handed users like me, the extra four inches places the mouse outside of a comfortable arc.

SpyderCanopus said,
The Surface has it's own kickstand, so I don't see why they'd include one with that keyboard.

Because it's a generic keyboard that can be used with other tablets as well. Not every tablet will have its own kickstand.

SpyderCanopus said,
The Surface has it's own kickstand, so I don't see why they'd include one with that keyboard.

As Suave says, who said this is JUST for the Surface?

now get me a Surface Pro, this Wedge Mobile Keyboard and the Touch Mouse and I'll be grooving away in Visual Studio with this set as a happiest guy in town Sadly it seems that even a Macbook Pro could cost less in this set comparison... MS is really looking into going the same line with pricing as Apple. Surface (Pro) will be quite expensive and 65€ for a simple keyboard (it's not G15) is also not justified. If only this would all come with a price of a high-class laptop then it would even be justified...

68k said,
The Microsoft logo has changed too!

Yeah, it's gone entirely. You can hardly call the work Microsoft written in plain text a "logo".

TCLN Ryster said,

Yeah, it's gone entirely. You can hardly call the work Microsoft written in plain text a "logo".

Umm... TONS of companies have typographic logos. They are called wordmark logos. I personally like it better than the current logo, but I do feel they could have done something more interesting with it.

That Wedge Touch Mouse looks unergonomic and ugly. I never expected Microsoft design was going to get so bad. Since 2005 or so, it's just gone downhill.

68k said,
That Wedge Touch Mouse looks unergonomic and ugly. I never expected Microsoft design was going to get so bad. Since 2005 or so, it's just gone downhill.

I agree, what exactly were they thinking? Plus the other mice don't look any better with their scroll strips.

The keyboard doesn't look like a complete winner either, with the Ctrl key placed furthest away making for a bigger stretch to reach the other keys you use with it and the Del key being in the corner and looking kinda small. Not to mention cramming in the Home/End/Pgup/PgDown keys that, as Apple has proven, are not exactly necessary on a compact keyboard if you provide an alternative with a modifier key and the arrows.

LaXu said,

I agree, what exactly were they thinking? Plus the other mice don't look any better with their scroll strips.

The keyboard doesn't look like a complete winner either, with the Ctrl key placed furthest away making for a bigger stretch to reach the other keys you use with it and the Del key being in the corner and looking kinda small. Not to mention cramming in the Home/End/Pgup/PgDown keys that, as Apple has proven, are not exactly necessary on a compact keyboard if you provide an alternative with a modifier key and the arrows.

you should find a shop or somehwere that has a pwoered up current touch scroll mouse and try the scroll strip. it's awesome, and I wish my G700 had it. The feedback when you slide your finger over it actually feels like your scrolling a wheel. it's awesome.

HawkMan said,
The feedback when you slide your finger over it actually feels like your scrolling a wheel. it's awesome.

I'm a new arc touch user. you are 100% correct, the feedback is awesome.

I gave up my super expensive gaming mouse for the Arc Touch (year of the dragon edition).

The keyboard looks happy to see you

Not sure about that wedge mouse though, looks uncomfortable. Might not be to use I guess but it looks it.

I would love that first keyboard though

Teebor said,
The keyboard looks happy to see you

Not sure about that wedge mouse though, looks uncomfortable. Might not be to use I guess but it looks it.

I would love that first keyboard though

you have to realize the size of it, it's not a mouse you hold with your whole hands, it's a finger mouse. and as such with it's small mouse it's actually not unergonomic, you can one finger on each side to slide it around and one or two on top for clicks and touch/scroll.

if it had been 3 times the size and had been a hold in your hand mouse, then yes, it would be terrible.

aviator189 said,
now, ms, just make a microsoft brand pc and i'll buy it day 1.

get the surface tablet, connect to external monitor and keyboard = microsoft branded desktop... just not much of graphical power house

dafin0 said,

get the surface tablet, connect to external monitor and keyboard = microsoft branded desktop... just not much of graphical power house

If those are powerful enough to run Visual Studio, Word, Access and Excel, and maybe play video without skipping, I will definitely buy one. Personally don't need the graphics horsepower.

dafin0 said,
the wedge touch mouse looks different, i wonder how it feels in hand

Yes I wonder that too. I am used to Logitech's curvy mice so I fear I wouldn't get used to that shape. On the other hand, the Touch Mouse looks good

dafin0 said,
the wedge touch mouse looks different, i wonder how it feels in hand

It's definitely different... I'm curious how it feels too. Strangely, it does look very neat... lol.

I have the original Touch Mouse, is the gesture support to be updated to support the newer Windows 8 gestures. I will be very miffed if it doesn't.

.fahim said,
I have the original Touch Mouse, is the gesture support to be updated to support the newer Windows 8 gestures. I will be very miffed if it doesn't.

Read the article
The company also confirmed today that the Touch Mouse, which launched last year, will receive a range of gesture updates specifically for use in Windows 8 “to incorporate finger swipes and movements that allow for navigation, switching through apps, and zooming in and out

notuptome2004 said,
i would use the first and last KB and maby the last mouse but the Wedge mouse looks more like a $79 Door wedge

it's purpose isn't to look pretty, but to be as small and portable as possible, and without anyc racks for dirt, and still remain usable. and that's scores a 10 on each of those.