Microsoft Arc mouse doesn't support multi-touch

The first thing that comes to mind when you saw Microsoft's new Arc mouse may very well be that it is some sort of multi-touch enabled device. You might imagine that it is designed to emulate a Laptop Trackpad. However, Microsoft states that that isn't the case at all. This device is nothing more than a computer mouse that curves for use and goes back to being flat when it is being stored. This mouse doesn't support multi-touch functionality at all.

An Engadget article that was written prior to the reveal discusses what they believed the Arc mouse was. It states "The mouse features touch-scrolling,[…]." This statement alone may lead people to believe that it supports touch input functionality. The article goes on to compare pricing to Apple's new Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. However, Engadget is not alone in this, many sites had assumed that the mouse had touch functionality.

Paul Thurrott stated the following: "It doesn't support multi-touch gestures or any of that nonsense, not because it's not possible, but because Microsoft has put its multi-touch technologies where they belong: In the screen." Many descriptions of the Arc mouse that have been posted online so far have mentioned that it has somehow copies Apple's mouse technology.

However, this mouse by no means copies Apple. This time around, the goal of this mouse is not to compete with Apple. Rather, it is designed to be an upgrade to existing Microsoft  mice. It is designed to be much more compact while traveling and it is designed to remain ergonomic for use at your destination. It is simply a new take on existing technology ideas from Microsoft.

Neowin originally unveiled news about the Microsoft Arc Mouse in an article earlier this week.

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TechDudeGeorge said,
So why is is named "Arc Touch"...? Seems like a misleading name to me.

Touch scrolling. I don't see how touch scrolling is any better than a scroll wheel though... actually far worse. Thanks, Apple, for starting this "cool" trend of decreasing productivity.

andrewbares said,

Touch scrolling. I don't see how touch scrolling is any better than a scroll wheel though... actually far worse. Thanks, Apple, for starting this "cool" trend of decreasing productivity.

Touch scrolling is much better if you can do it in 2 dimensions. It looks like this is only one way (vertical) though.

i couldnt find in the article where it talks about touch scroll. infact, it had a quote: "It doesn't support multi-touch gestures or any of that nonsense".
any of that nonsense? seriously? I have always been a impressed by quite a few thing that MS has been involved in but to call multi-touch gestures nonsense is going a little too far.

d4diesel said,
i couldnt find in the article where it talks about touch scroll. infact, it had a quote: "It doesn't support multi-touch gestures or any of that nonsense".
any of that nonsense? seriously? I have always been a impressed by quite a few thing that MS has been involved in but to call multi-touch gestures nonsense is going a little too far.

MS never said that though lol it was Paul. And to be fair, I kindoff agree with him. It may be cool and all that, but on Windows I don't think multi-touch (without like an overlay or using a touch screen) will be any better for productivity.

TechDudeGeorge said,
So why is is named "Arc Touch"...? Seems like a misleading name to me.

Just give them five more years, then they'll annouce the family friendly Arc Multitouch, codenamed "Mouse 3.0"!

/- Razorfold said,

MS never said that though lol it was Paul. And to be fair, I kindoff agree with him. It may be cool and all that, but on Windows I don't think multi-touch (without like an overlay or using a touch screen) will be any better for productivity.

It's much faster to use multitouch features for windows management without having to reach for icons in an UI.

andrewbares said,

Touch scrolling. I don't see how touch scrolling is any better than a scroll wheel though... actually far worse. Thanks, Apple, for starting this "cool" trend of decreasing productivity.


touch scroll is far better that scroll wheel. on touchpad it's better because you can just hold finger to top or bottom for autoscroll, and on multi-touch it's better because of precision and flicking with velocity.

Northgrove said,
It's much faster to use multitouch features for windows management without having to reach for icons in an UI.

Anything you can do with multi-touch you can do with multiple mouse buttons. Pinch zooming can easily be replicated by holding the right mouse button and scrolling up and down. 2 finger dragging on a window can easily be done with 2 mouse key dragging on a window.

This is really not what I wanted to hear. I was looking forward to seeing how Microsoft would use gestures to control some of the unique features in Windows 7 with this mouse. <sigh>

i really hoped the geniuses at microsoft would come up with a thumb-operated trackball....

the last one was a disaster, no wonder they pulled it off the shelves....

the best trackball i've used is logitech's trackman wheel, it's been like 10 years already....

Yeah, Microsoft's trackballs were crap. Mine died in a matter of months. But my Logitechs just keep going for years and years. Hell, I've seen some last a decade or more.

rawr_boy81 said,
I was tempted to go, "damn that sucks" but then on reflection after reading beyond the head line (which some people here rarely do) the main focus of Microsoft is on touch screens being used for gestures and the mouse being used as it has always been.

I do have a problem with that - dirty fingers, grease and other nasties getting on the screen - touch screens sound nice until you hit the real world and the flaws start showing themselves. Personally I'd sooner have a jumbo pad like a MacBook/MacBook Pro/Magic Pad than dealing with a pathetically small pad that comes with a PC laptop.


I agree. Touch screens are useful on ONE SINGLE device besides phones: Touchpads. I can't even fathom the fingerprints and strain from reaching towards a screen. There has to be no future in that technology and no coincidence that no one in the market makes big money on building such screens. I mean, it's not like we don't already have the touch technology. MS is completely off-track if they have this vision IMO.

Northgrove said,
MS is completely off-track if they have this vision IMO.
Who says that we'll always have monitors at that kind of distance?

Hmm, so its not really that spectacular a mouse.

Actually to me Mouse 2.0 is those wireless mouse
Before 2.0 theres the ball then optical.
And the magic mouse is kind of 2.5, 3.0
I group more by function instead of design

reidtheweed01 said,
how the hell do you use multi-touch with a regular mouse?

For example, when zooming into a photo, you can spread your fingers on the mouse, forward/backward navigation by flicking two fingers forward/backward, and so on, two fingers up to maximize a window, etc...

Northgrove said,

For example, when zooming into a photo, you can spread your fingers on the mouse, forward/backward navigation by flicking two fingers forward/backward, and so on, two fingers up to maximize a window, etc...

yea works good with maps and browsing also.

I don't understand this Touch-mousewheel. If the idea behind the mousewheel was "less mechanic", it seems to me the mouse have still two areas with mechanic buttons below. But the main reason why I throwaway all my mouses was the mouse buttons, sooner or later. (in the good old days the cable).

I love my Arc Mouse, but the scroll wheel absolutely sucks. I will more than likely get this new Arc Mouse just because it shouldn't be too different in design, but I think a touch scrolling feature will work a lot smoother than the crappy wheel. I'll have to wait for pictures of it before I decide for sure, though. Also, without an actual button, I wouldn't want it if I can't "middle-click" just by tapping on it.

[sad face]

I guess I'm skipping this one. If it doesn't support multi-touch then it's not really a huge improvement over the last Arc mouse. I may give it a try later but this won't be something I'm going to run out and get.

Article
The first thing that comes to mind when you saw Microsoft's new Arc mouse may very well be that it is some sort of multi-touch enabled device.

I never once thought that. It is shaped like an ordinary mouse, with two buttons and a scrollwheel area. The mouse I use now has two buttons and a scrollwheel. I don't multi-touch that. I works just fine. Why would I assume the Arc would be any different?

LaP said,
"but because Microsoft has put its multi-touch technologies where they belong: In the screen"

http://www.wacom.com/index2.php

Paul Thurrott, gentlemen, Paul Thurrott.

I like Paul Thurrott web site cause this is a good place to get the latest news about MS. But this guy should never be quoted. He is hands down the biggest MS fanboy on earth. I'm 100% sure this guy has a microsoft cofee mug at home

I don't get your point? What does that link mean in relation to this?

He uses a lot of Apple equipment, but writes about MS mainly - though not exclusively. Here's what he uses: http://www.winsupersite.com/paul/whatiuse.asp

Strangely enough, he writes about MS because he gets paid to write about MS.

Kirkburn said,
I don't get your point? What does that link mean in relation to this?

The link means that multi-touch is not only for screen like Paul Thurrott said. Multi-touch can be used in other devices like pen tablet.

I think many of the above comments are dissing this mouse because Microsoft isn't trying to pawn it off as some 'magical' toy.

I would prefer multi-touch on the screen. Having it in a mouse is dumb. Touchpads are ok, but problems is the real estate is to small. With the screen I use gestures and make it the size I need the first time with pin-point accuracy. With a touch device I have to use several gestures for the same effect. Counter-productive if I would say.

It looks cool anyway.

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