Microsoft jumps into the notebook accessory market

In an interesting move, Microsoft has just announced that it is entering the laptop accessory market after recent studies reveal that notebook sales are outpacing desktop PC sales 3-1.With that in mind, the Microsoft Hardware team has been working on the software's giant first notebook accessory release which will first include a Notebook Cooling Base as well as special editions of the Arc Mouse.

The Notebook Cooling Base is very stylish, and in my opinion looks like some eye-candy you'd see from Apple, which includes a build-in fan. The base can be used on any notebook and is contoured to rest on both desks and users' laps. It sports a very slim design, and is at a mere 1.16 inches thick. One of the features I'd most enjoy is the fact that it is USB based, so save those rechargeable batteries for something else! The cooling base will be available in black and white to fit your laptop's style.

Remember the mouse Microsoft released last year that totally blew everyone's mind, well mine at least? The Microsoft Arc Mouse which has undoubtedly been a huge hit in the mouse market reached the top-10 list of best-selling mice after two months of being released to the market. With that in mind, Microsoft has also announced special edition colors to celebrate the achievement. The colors include: deep olive green, marine blue, eggplant purple, and frost white.

More information about the Microsoft Arc Mouse can be found here, along with a complete review by Neowin member Quillz.

The Notebook Cooling Base will be hit retail stores in July of this year for $29.95 (USD). The Arc Mouse in special edition colors will be made available this month for $49.95 (USD). However if you'd like to be one of the first people to own, and let us know your experience while you're at it, both are no available for presale on Amazon.com. These products are backed by a worldwide three-year limited hardware warranty from Microsoft, more information can be found on Microsoft's Hardware website.

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31 Comments

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Microsoft makes actually good computer accessories. Their keyboards are top class. The IBM (Now Lenovo) Thinkpads keyboards are the only other keyboard i enjoy more than the MS ones.

Despite Microsoft Software can greatly vary in quality, I've been constantly impressed with Microsoft hardware (keyboard/mice/old sidewinder controller's). I think this is a good thing.

Chris-Gonzales said,
they been doing hardware for years

I know this...but they never really concentrated on the Notebook market...like the accessories...what I meant.

well haven't they had laptop mice for years though? They certainly have had a line of laptop focused web cameras. Really they have just expanded their lineup with a new laptop cooler as I certainly wouldn't call this an "entry" into the notebook accessory market given they are already there.

Smigit said,
well haven't they had laptop mice for years though? They certainly have had a line of laptop focused web cameras. Really they have just expanded their lineup with a new laptop cooler as I certainly wouldn't call this an "entry" into the notebook accessory market given they are already there.

Im sure the cooler is just one product of many to come...hopefully. They wouldnt say they are entering the market with just one new product.

you missed my point. They are in the market. They have had laptop targeted mice for ages as well as webcams specifically designed for clipping onto laptop monitors.

This is just an expansion of an already existing product line.

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mobility.mspx
The above link lists many many mice and webcams along with a few other products. Many have been available for some time, and I'm talking years not months here.

Smigit said,
you missed my point. They are in the market. They have had laptop targeted mice for ages as well as webcams specifically designed for clipping onto laptop monitors.

This is just an expansion of an already existing product line.

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mobility.mspx
The above link lists many many mice and webcams along with a few other products. Many have been available for some time, and I'm talking years not months here.

No, I get your point but you miss mine....

Yea, MS makes laptop products like what you said...everyone knows this. BUT they wouldnt announce that they are getting in to the notebook accessory market unless they had more products they will be releasing...or more money they will be pouring in to laptop accessory designs...new products...

well the announcement is rather bunct either way. They have been in the market for years whether they are announcing it now or not.

Also did they actually announce it or is that just the wording of the Neowin staff? Is there any source detailing any new entry into the market from MS direct? I just read that as the authors spin on things to be honest.

Yup.. microsoft should get into making their own pc's soon. They are brilliant at unique designs.. too bad HP DELL and other top manufacturers dont have the brains to hire someone creative.

BUT, do netbooks really over heat? do they need a cooling base?

To many other PC manufacturers for MS to be effective in creating their own designs. Besides, a good system has nothing to do with the design and how it looks. Give me a plain black/grey/purple case that works great and is stable as hell over anything cool looking and shiny any day.

HP and sony have the berst looking designs on the market. Apple is nice, but way to basic, let alone the removal of the standards: Firewire, DVI/HDMI mouse buttons etc.

Cooling bases for laptop are a necessity, well at least for my laptop. Some laptops get hot, because of all the power under the hood. Graphic cards are one component that produces a lot of heat, therefore I find it necessary to use a cooling base.

I have an XPS, second generation, and it gets hot! I have been using one for a while now, and they work. I would not leave home without it. Some laptops do not need them however, as some are basic. However, it really depends on the design, features built in, etc. I would recommend them, they just may prevent your laptop casing from cracking over time, as what has happened to my previous laptop.

The only laptops I have ever owned that needed a cooling base to keep from overheating and crashing have been MacBook Pros. None of my PC laptops have had this issue. Do any of yours?