Microsoft set to launch Arc multi-touch mouse?

Microsoft could be set to announce a multi-touch mouse in the coming weeks.

Company officials registered arctouchmouse.com on Tuesday March 30 this year and several European retailers have begun publishing listings for a "Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse". Blogger Long Zheng spotted the details and notes that the new mouse could be the result of a Microsoft Research program dubbed "Mouse 2.0". The project detailed different designs for a prototype multi-touch mouse and one of the prototypes looks similar to the current Microsoft Arc Mouse.

Microsoft officials published a research PDF paper in October 2009 which contains pictures of a possible multi touch mouse:


Image: Prototype mouse from Microsoft Research



Image: Current Microsoft Arc Mouse

If Microsoft plans to introduce the multi-touch mouse soon then it could be a cheap alternative to costly touch displays for use with Windows 7. Apple currently offers a mult-touch dubbed the "Magic Mouse" which retails for $70.

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Oh cool. I had actually been planning to replace my Arc Mouse (I got it wet)... I guess I'll wait for this version. I really LOVE the original Arc, so I'll definitely be looking at any new versions of this. My only real hope is that it supports Bluetooth, as I'm not a fan of the dongle. But great mouse.

Gladiatorus said,
Ugly as sin. Hope it works well and gets redisigned.

Yeah, the concept is rather ugly. It also can't fold up it doesn't look like as the original Arc could. I hope for a good redesign as well.

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, the concept is rather ugly. It also can't fold up it doesn't look like as the original Arc could. I hope for a good redesign as well.

I'm sorry, but are you people blind? It's a piece of shaped glass connected to a black wooden block. It's called a PROTOTYPE for a reason. Car shapes are built out of clay first, would you go up to it and decide its ugly while it's still in that stage?

I love mice that make you have to buy two if your a gamer. I have tried HL2 and even CS:S with Apple's Magic Mouse and its just horrible. Had to go out and buy a NORMAL mouse just to play.

necrosis said,
I love mice that make you have to buy two if your a gamer. I have tried HL2 and even CS:S with Apple's Magic Mouse and its just horrible. Had to go out and buy a NORMAL mouse just to play.

I didn't realize they marketed them as gaming mice. How silly of me.

LiquidSolstice said,

I didn't realize they marketed them as gaming mice. How silly of me.


Right, cause you need a gaming mice to play games^^ How retarted are you?

This would be awesome if it was released by Apple, the exact same product, but by Apple, from Microsoft it's just another useless product.

Denvildaste said,
This would be awesome if it was released by Apple, the exact same product, but by Apple, from Microsoft it's just another useless product.

You had a great statement going there, but you really really botched up the sentence structure of that.

Despite having more engineers and a bigger R&D budget than both Apple and Google combined, MS almost always seems to lag in terms of innovation or their products are just flat out inferior

- arc mouse
- their search engine
- email websites (hotmail and live)
- map website
- Kin
- their phones and phone OS
- mp3 player (zune)
- web browser

I could go on, but you get my point. They need to get in the game. Xbox, Windows and Office are outstanding products but those are the only ones that really come to mind.

And yet, I could easily argue that the Arc Mouse, Bing, Live, Bing Maps & Zune are most certainly not flat out inferior... mainly because they're not? Heck I'd say Bing maps easily beats Google Maps, Arc Mouse is pretty much unqiue, Bing is certainly good for certain groups of people, and Zune was never inferior (well, ignoring the 30GB), it just never sold well.

psyko_x said,
Despite having more engineers and a bigger R&D budget than both Apple and Google combined, MS almost always seems to lag in terms of innovation or their products are just flat out inferior

- arc mouse
- their search engine
- email websites (hotmail and live)
- map website
- Kin
- their phones and phone OS
- mp3 player (zune)
- web browser

I could go on, but you get my point. They need to get in the game. Xbox, Windows and Office are outstanding products but those are the only ones that really come to mind.


Lies, lies and some wrong info =)
1) arc mouse. Apple has no mice with such compact design. Plus Apple just can't compete with Microsoft's BlueTrack mouse technology. Google's mice are on-existent vaporware.
2) their search engine. Apple's search engine is infinitely worse. And Google's is just... different.
3) email websites. Apple's email website is infinitely worse. And Hotmail is on par with gmail (which Google bought).
4) map website. Apple's maps website is infinitely worse. And Google's maps are not as detailed in some places. Google lags in 3D maps. Hell, Google even couldn't create their "Google Earth". They just bought it from Keyhole.
6) their phones and phone OS. Apple and Google lagged behind MS in this department for many years until ~2007. MS innovated in the area long before Google and Apple came with their me-toos. Android's app count is still less that WM's
7) mp3 player (zune). What's the main purpose of mp3 player? Play music! This is where iPods suck and Zune's sound is one of the best in market. Looks like Apple just cannot create devices that fulfill their main purpose: mp3 players have bad sound; phone has bad reception; LCD screens for designers/artists have bad color.
8) web browser. Safari has to much unpatched vulnerabilities to even consider using it. Plus it cannot even render Apple's own site properly.

>I could go on, but you get my point.
Yeah.. I kinda understood that you're just a big fat troll.

RealFduch said,

Lies, lies and some wrong info =)
1) arc mouse. Apple has no mice with such compact design. Plus Apple just can't compete with Microsoft's BlueTrack mouse technology. Google's mice are on-existent vaporware.
2) their search engine. Apple's search engine is infinitely worse. And Google's is just... different.
3) email websites. Apple's email website is infinitely worse. And Hotmail is on par with gmail (which Google bought).
4) map website. Apple's maps website is infinitely worse. And Google's maps are not as detailed in some places. Google lags in 3D maps. Hell, Google even couldn't create their "Google Earth". They just bought it from Keyhole.
6) their phones and phone OS. Apple and Google lagged behind MS in this department for many years until ~2007. MS innovated in the area long before Google and Apple came with their me-toos. Android's app count is still less that WM's
7) mp3 player (zune). What's the main purpose of mp3 player? Play music! This is where iPods suck and Zune's sound is one of the best in market. Looks like Apple just cannot create devices that fulfill their main purpose: mp3 players have bad sound; phone has bad reception; LCD screens for designers/artists have bad color.
8) web browser. Safari has to much unpatched vulnerabilities to even consider using it. Plus it cannot even render Apple's own site properly.

>I could go on, but you get my point.
Yeah.. I kinda understood that you're just a big fat troll.

Sure is troll in here.

RealFduch said,

Lies, lies and some wrong info =)
1) arc mouse. Apple has no mice with such compact design. Plus Apple just can't compete with Microsoft's BlueTrack mouse technology. Google's mice are on-existent vaporware.
2) their search engine. Apple's search engine is infinitely worse. And Google's is just... different.
3) email websites. Apple's email website is infinitely worse. And Hotmail is on par with gmail (which Google bought).
4) map website. Apple's maps website is infinitely worse. And Google's maps are not as detailed in some places. Google lags in 3D maps. Hell, Google even couldn't create their "Google Earth". They just bought it from Keyhole.
6) their phones and phone OS. Apple and Google lagged behind MS in this department for many years until ~2007. MS innovated in the area long before Google and Apple came with their me-toos. Android's app count is still less that WM's
7) mp3 player (zune). What's the main purpose of mp3 player? Play music! This is where iPods suck and Zune's sound is one of the best in market. Looks like Apple just cannot create devices that fulfill their main purpose: mp3 players have bad sound; phone has bad reception; LCD screens for designers/artists have bad color.
8) web browser. Safari has to much unpatched vulnerabilities to even consider using it. Plus it cannot even render Apple's own site properly.

>I could go on, but you get my point.
Yeah.. I kinda understood that you're just a big fat troll.


1) The compact design is what keeps me from buying an arc mouse... if they had a desktop size version I'd buy it
3) Apple has an email website, it's just not free. Oh and MS didn't MAKE Hotmail...they bought it
6) While they lagged a lot in the smart phone market (they didn't have a phone yet....if you want to call that lagging?). They sure managed to catch up and crush the competition, Windows Mobile phones are almost non existent right now, go to a store and you'll find mostly iPhones, Android phones and Blackberries
7) The market showed what they wanted and the Zune was definitely not that
8) What page does it not render properly? Webkit is one of the most compliant engine out there so the error might be in Apple's page and not the browser

Rudy said,

1) The compact design is what keeps me from buying an arc mouse... if they had a desktop size version I'd buy it
3) Apple has an email website, it's just not free. Oh and MS didn't MAKE Hotmail...they bought it
6) While they lagged a lot in the smart phone market (they didn't have a phone yet....if you want to call that lagging?). They sure managed to catch up and crush the competition, Windows Mobile phones are almost non existent right now, go to a store and you'll find mostly iPhones, Android phones and Blackberries
7) The market showed what they wanted and the Zune was definitely not that
8) What page does it not render properly? Webkit is one of the most compliant engine out there so the error might be in Apple's page and not the browser

If the Zune HD had an Apple logo on it noone would even think of getting an iPod Touch as the Zune is far superior... The market only showed, that brands are more important than actual functionality.

MFH said,

If the Zune HD had an Apple logo on it noone would even think of getting an iPod Touch as the Zune is far superior... The market only showed, that brands are more important than actual functionality.

ROFL. The Zune is total garbage. The OS is crap. The interface is terrible...scrolling text off the edge of the screen. The audio quality is crap. the touch interface is terrible and inaccurate. The software is a terrible clone of iTunes.

The market clearly showed the Zune HD is garbage and the iPod is light years ahead of it. How many Zunes sold? LOL. Apple sells more iPods in a day than Zune has sold since it came out.

Bullhead said,

ROFL. The Zune is total garbage. The OS is crap. The interface is terrible...scrolling text off the edge of the screen. The audio quality is crap. the touch interface is terrible and inaccurate. The software is a terrible clone of iTunes.

The market clearly showed the Zune HD is garbage and the iPod is light years ahead of it. How many Zunes sold? LOL. Apple sells more iPods in a day than Zune has sold since it came out.

As an apple fan, you can't use the argument of sales. Win7 sales >> OS X sales.

The zuneHD really is an awesome device (switched over from an iPod classic). It's just that when people think of an MP3 player they immediately think of the iPod. People have this idea baked in their heads that iPods are the only good music players out there.

What drew me to try the zune was because of iTunes. I hated that thing so much I got rid of it and just never updated my iPod anymore. I gave the zune software a try and liked it so I tried the device and never looked back.

RealFduch said,

Lies, lies and some wrong info =)
1) arc mouse. Apple has no mice with such compact design. Plus Apple just can't compete with Microsoft's BlueTrack mouse technology. Google's mice are on-existent vaporware.
2) their search engine. Apple's search engine is infinitely worse. And Google's is just... different.
3) email websites. Apple's email website is infinitely worse. And Hotmail is on par with gmail (which Google bought).
4) map website. Apple's maps website is infinitely worse. And Google's maps are not as detailed in some places. Google lags in 3D maps. Hell, Google even couldn't create their "Google Earth". They just bought it from Keyhole.
6) their phones and phone OS. Apple and Google lagged behind MS in this department for many years until ~2007. MS innovated in the area long before Google and Apple came with their me-toos. Android's app count is still less that WM's
7) mp3 player (zune). What's the main purpose of mp3 player? Play music! This is where iPods suck and Zune's sound is one of the best in market. Looks like Apple just cannot create devices that fulfill their main purpose: mp3 players have bad sound; phone has bad reception; LCD screens for designers/artists have bad color.
8) web browser. Safari has to much unpatched vulnerabilities to even consider using it. Plus it cannot even render Apple's own site properly.

>I could go on, but you get my point.
Yeah.. I kinda understood that you're just a big fat troll.

It's hard for me to have serious discussions with people that use preschool level words like "troll", but I'll briefly address your comments.

First of all, I didn't mean that Apple and Google offer the same exact services as MS and that both out-innovate MS. My whole point was that MS lags other companies in terms of innovation and that MS produces inferior products. By other companies, I mean Apple and/or Google, and/or Mozilla, etc.

"Apple has no mice with such compact design"
There's a reason Mighty Mouse comes to so many people's minds when they see this Arc Mouse

"Apple's search engine is infinitely worse. And Google's is just... different."
Not sure how else to put it...your opinion about Google search is completely irrelevant. Internet users have decided Google is supeior: http://gs.statcounter.com/#sea...ne-ww-monthly-200906-201007

"Hotmail is on par with gmail (which Google bought)"
I'll give up this point. Everyone's got their own preferences for email clients. I assume you put that little blurb in parentheses because you're completely ignorant of all the companies and technologies MS has bought since it's inception in the 1970s.... do your homework

"Google's maps are not as detailed in some places. Google lags in 3D maps. Hell, Google even couldn't create their "Google Earth". They just bought it from Keyhole."
Again, your opinion is irrelevant. Google's market share is 45% compared to Bing's 4.5:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/ar..._style_-_but_is_it_enou.php
See my previous point about why mentioning google's acquistions is pointless. Also, Bing doesn't have a google earth equivalent...although I'm sure they will soon I will say their birds eye view is very nice. Hopefully, google maps will match that

"their phones and phone OS. Apple and Google lagged behind MS in this department for many years until ~2007"
I can agree to an extent, but MS's current offerings of Windows Mobile phones are awful. They're desperately trying to innovate with things like Kin to compete with iPhone+iOS/Google+Android

"What's the main purpose of mp3 player? Play music! This is where iPods suck"
Once again, your single opinion is irrelevant. iPod market share dwarfs Zune

"web browser..."
I assume you've never developed a website. Web designers hate it for a reason. Even end have finally realized other browsers (firefox, chrome, etc etc) are better. IE still dominates market share but other browsers are gaining fast (thank god!). After years of developing garbage, they are finally playing catch up with IE9..which does look very promising!


I'll end with a childish remark which will probably hurt your feeling a lot more than it would mind..."pwned"

Bullhead said,

ROFL. The Zune is total garbage. The OS is crap. The interface is terrible...scrolling text off the edge of the screen. The audio quality is crap. the touch interface is terrible and inaccurate. The software is a terrible clone of iTunes.

The market clearly showed the Zune HD is garbage and the iPod is light years ahead of it. How many Zunes sold? LOL. Apple sells more iPods in a day than Zune has sold since it came out.

Firstly, comparing the two is utterly retarded. The iPod has simply been around way longer, and because of that, many many Apple-sheep have bought them and educated their sheep-children of the brand name. It has nothing to do with quality.

Second, the Zune interface is beautiful and smooth, and idiots like you call it "garbage" are the ones who've never seen it in motion. The screen cannot be inaccurate, it's a capacitive touchscreen and all the pressable buttons are huge. If you have palsy or twitch like a complete dumba$$, that's your own damn fault. Seriously, your words just drip of "I'm an Apple fanboy and I saw one picture of the Zune and decided I know everything about it including how to use it, even though I'll never even hold it".

Go home, child.

If you think that's bad you need to check out Apple's Magic Mouse, which was inspired by a partly-dissolved bar of soap and tested for ergonomics with a focus group comprised of aliens. While I probably won't be getting Microsoft's multi-touch mouse either, at least it won't need an attachment to adapt it to the appendages of my species (http://mmfixed.com).

Edited by Arkose, Jul 2 2010, 10:39am :

Arkose said,
If you think that's bad you need to check out Apple's Magic Mouse, which was inspired by a partly-dissolved bar of soap and tested for ergonomics with a focus group comprised of aliens. While I probably won't be getting Microsoft's multi-touch mouse either, at least it won't need an attachment to adapt it to the appendages of my species (http://mmfixed.com).

From the looks of things, I think that prototype looks even worse, although I won't get a Magic Mouse either. MS advertise it for having an arc, when having an oversized arc is a bad thing (oh hai Mr Carpal Tunnel). Oh well. It could be just because it's a prototype, but it looks like it has to look like that for technical reasons, which would be a bummer.

asdavis10 said,
That prototype looks ugly. I probably wouldn't buy one anyway but especially not if that's the design.

Of course that's not the design That's probably just a quick proof-of-concept prototype, like the many other designs that take place at Microsoft Research

asdavis10 said,
That prototype looks ugly. I probably wouldn't buy one anyway but especially not if that's the design.
I agree the prototype looks hideous. I prefer the look of the current Arc, if they could keep the same sort of design and incorporate touch technology into it, then it would be a winner. And maybe if they made it a bit bigger; they're fine to use if you have small/average size hands, but if you have big hands like me it's near impossible to use. Although that's just me, catering for the average hand size is obviously the logical thing to do.

asdavis10 said,
That prototype looks ugly. I probably wouldn't buy one anyway but especially not if that's the design.
Right. Prototype. PROTOTYPE.

~Johnny said,

Of course that's not the design That's probably just a quick proof-of-concept prototype, like the many other designs that take place at Microsoft Research

Kirkburn said,

Right. Prototype. PROTOTYPE.

Right, because prototypes never make the final design. See iPhone 4.

asdavis10 said,
Right, because prototypes never make the final design. See iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 was not a research prototype. Sheesh.

asdavis10 said,

Right, because prototypes never make the final design. See iPhone 4.

Look up prototyping sometimes. There is a difference between proof of concept prototypes and working prototypes.

Kirkburn said,
The iPhone 4 was not a research prototype. Sheesh.

leeisl said,
Look up prototyping sometimes. There is a difference between proof of concept prototypes and working prototypes.

So you both know that the pictures of the mouse are not from a working unit? I didn't get that from reading anything in this story.

asdavis10 said,
So you both know that the pictures of the mouse are not from a working unit? I didn't get that from reading anything in this story.

"Microsoft officials published a research PDF paper in October 2009 which contains pictures of a possible multi touch mouse:"
Key words: Research paper, possible
Both implies that said models are made to show a concept, and not build for looks.

leeisl said,

"Microsoft officials published a research PDF paper in October 2009 which contains pictures of a possible multi touch mouse:"
Key words: Research paper, possible
Both implies that said models are made to show a concept, and not build for looks.

Still doesn't prove anything. It being a research paper doesn't mean anything. We're basically debating over semantics at this point. But I haven't read anything that says those pictures aren't from a working unit. If it was, it would still be "a possible multi touch mouse". Just like there could be other prototypes of "a possible multi touch mouse" who's pictures haven't been published.

asdavis10 said,
Still doesn't prove anything. It being a research paper doesn't mean anything. We're basically debating over semantics at this point. But I haven't read anything that says those pictures aren't from a working unit. If it was, it would still be "a possible multi touch mouse". Just like there could be other prototypes of "a possible multi touch mouse" who's pictures haven't been published.

When said research paper states "explore different touch sensing techniques, form-factors and interactive affordances", present several other designs and the rest of the paper describing how they are tested and compare to each other, I really don't think the prototypes, the one in the article or otherwise, are at a "working unit" stage.

Don't just read an article by itself, read though the links and sources.

I love the design and look of the Arc mouse hoever trying it in stores I found it wasn't the best feel. I've owned a Magic Mouse for a while now and it took a while to get used to but I now love it.

Touch pads are the way of the future. The whole top of the magic mouse is a touch pad and in OS X you can customise it to do so so much. Lets hope this upcoming mouse is as good!

MrChuang said,
I love the design and look of the Arc mouse hoever trying it in stores I found it wasn't the best feel. I've owned a Magic Mouse for a while now and it took a while to get used to but I now love it.

Touch pads are the way of the future. The whole top of the magic mouse is a touch pad and in OS X you can customise it to do so so much. Lets hope this upcoming mouse is as good!

Is the Magic Mouse of any use in Windows? If not, then this could be the first [u]working[/u] multitouch mouse for PCs...

MFH said,

Is the Magic Mouse of any use in Windows? If not, then this could be the first [u]working[/u] multitouch mouse for PCs...

I tried it in Windows 7 and first it was recognised as just a bluetooth mouse with no scroll then I googled and found official drivers extracted from the bootcamp updates. I installed them for the mouse and it enabled scrolling, left and right click. No middle click or any touch gestures. The scrolling and just whole mouse sucks in Windows compared to Snow Leopard. On OS X the scrolling is so smooth and the amount of options you can do on the mouses touch is amazing.

Probably the best option you can change on the mouse on Snow Leopard is the ability to not have to click, instead just touch the left, right or middle for the desired click.

MrChuang said,

I tried it in Windows 7 and first it was recognised as just a bluetooth mouse with no scroll then I googled and found official drivers extracted from the bootcamp updates. I installed them for the mouse and it enabled scrolling, left and right click. No middle click or any touch gestures. The scrolling and just whole mouse sucks in Windows compared to Snow Leopard. On OS X the scrolling is so smooth and the amount of options you can do on the mouses touch is amazing.

Probably the best option you can change on the mouse on Snow Leopard is the ability to not have to click, instead just touch the left, right or middle for the desired click.


Sounds like the Magic Mouse is currently not worth it if you're running Windows...
I mean: bad scrolling, no middle-click + no gestures, you kinda see how much Apple supports Windows

MFH said,
you kinda see how much Apple supports Windows

And they never claimed to. The system requirements state Mac OS X only.

.Neo said,

And they never claimed to. The system requirements state Mac OS X only.

Yeah they didn't claim, but neither did they with their keyboards and they are working fine ...

MFH said,

Yeah they didn't claim, but neither did they with their keyboards and they are working fine ...

The keyboard works amazingly well in Windows. To make it even better their is a program called UAWKS (Unofficial Apple Wireless Keyboard Support) that lets you enable the FN keys and remap others.

MrChuang said,

The keyboard works amazingly well in Windows. To make it even better their is a program called UAWKS (Unofficial Apple Wireless Keyboard Support) that lets you enable the FN keys and remap others.


I saw that one. Actually I thought about getting an Apple Keyboard for a while but then I thought: If I'm gonna spend 70€ on a keyboard, why not buy one that actually works rigth out of the box? So I bought a Logitech Illuminated Keyboard...

Berserk87 said,
why don't they start moving away from a mouse?
A large multi touch trackpad would be awesome.

On a Notebook I would agree with you, but I'm still way faster on my desktop with a mouse

Berserk87 said,
A large multi touch trackpad would be awesome.

Yes, I certainly like mine. I no longer use a mouse on my laptop. I never thought I would replace a mouse with a trackpad, as I used to hate those.

Berserk87 said,
why don't they start moving away from a mouse?
A large multi touch trackpad would be awesome.

Mice can be used almost anywhere, on anything. So, it's likely more a portability issue.

It looks just like from that video. I forgot what the name was but it showed everything in the future like a fingerprint security on the usb, handheld keyboard, and a cool newspaper. (I still can't name that video. It was by microsoft btw)

Sounds interesseting, the original Arc Mouse was to small for my hand, let's see the new one...

BTW: I bet this article is gona end in a flame war...

scorpio_on_blue_moon said,
Hope they combine the build of prototype (glass) with final product.

I agree. It looks much better than black and grey mouse

scorpio_on_blue_moon said,
Hope they combine the build of prototype (glass) with final product.

Actually its acrylic its using FTIR similar to our MT (multi touch table) and the MS surface

scorpio_on_blue_moon said,
Hope they combine the build of prototype (glass) with final product.

according to how technology works, it should be (and as pointed out by Auzeras, it's not a glass)