Microsoft's new mice include a Windows button, built for Windows 8

Microsoft has announced two new mice today, the Sculpt comfort mouse and the Sculpt mobile mouse that are designed specifically for Windows with the Sculpt comfort mouse offering advanced functionality for Windows 8 users.

As the name implies, the Sculpt brand is carried over from the keyboard Microsoft released last year. The Comfort mouse has a touch-sensitive strip on the side of the device, called the 'touch tab' that assist with navigation in Windows 8. By tapping the tab, you can open the Start screen, much like you can by hitting the Windows key on your keyboard. Once in the Start screen, there are gestures that will allow you to navigate your open apps. 

The mouse uses Bluetooth to connect to your PC and will cost $39.95 with availability in June.

The Sculpt mobile mouse, like the name implies, is for the mobile warrior but is not directly targeted at Windows 8 like theSculpt comfort mouse. The mobile mouse uses a small USB receiver to connect to your PC, has a dedicated Windows button, and has four-way scrolling that will benefit those of you who use Windows 7 or 8.

The Sculpt Mobile Mouse will be available in May for $29.95.

Source: Windows Experience Blog

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google engineer publicly discloses zero-day Windows exploit

Next Story

OCZ Vertex 450 SSD Review: Vector-like Performance For Less

50 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I've setup one my my Logitech mouse's buttons to work the same way and it works beautifully. It's nothing revolutionary, but might save you some time and you never need to use the keyboard or corners to bring forward the start menu.

...what about left-handed people?

I'm using a touch mouse right now and it is AWESOME, it is actually optimized for working with Windows 7 and Windows 8 with different configs because the touch gestures are completely software-controlled. Brilliant thing. Can't wait to see it's successor. Hopefully it does away with the USB receiver and goes bluetooth.

Edited by FalseAgent, May 23 2013, 6:49pm :

I bought the Sculpt keyboard, it was my biggest mistake. The keys , the typing "feelinge" are very good. But now I have 6 completly superflous keys on my keyboard, that I can't re-define in the driver. Be careful if you want to buy this mouse and you think it's possible that you can change this blue key.

pack34 said,
Not a bad idea but I think a charms menu button would be more useful

I kinda think that they're going to add some sort of button for the charms in either the top right corner as a visual guide, or in the lower right? It doesn't have to be visible all the time but it can be made to pop out when your mouse gets close to it or something. That'd also help people with multi-monitor setups.

So, if you click this button when focus is set to an RDP window, is it going to trigger the start screen on the local computer, or the remote one?

'cuz that's by far my biggest beef with trying to invoke the Windows 8 Start screen from a windowed RDP session. The local machine intercepts the Windows key on a keyboard, so the only way to bring up the Start screen for a remote system is to s-l-o-w-l-y move the mouse over the tiny 4x4 pixel area in the lower-left corner until the popup shows itself.

Of course, since the Start button is making a comeback in 8.1, I won't have anything to bitch about.

Wow! Excellent point. I never really thought about that because at work we just moved everyone to Windows 7, so that isn't an issue... I use 8 at home, but I never thought about RDC-ing into an 8 machine.

_dandy_ said,
So, if you click this button when focus is set to an RDP window, is it going to trigger the start screen on the local computer, or the remote one?

'cuz that's by far my biggest beef with trying to invoke the Windows 8 Start screen from a windowed RDP session. The local machine intercepts the Windows key on a keyboard, so the only way to bring up the Start screen for a remote system is to s-l-o-w-l-y move the mouse over the tiny 4x4 pixel area in the lower-left corner until the popup shows itself.

Of course, since the Start button is making a comeback in 8.1, I won't have anything to bitch about.

What RDP software do you use? I've never had this issue. When the window is in focus, all commands go to it, start button included.

_dandy_ said,
So, if you click this button when focus is set to an RDP window, is it going to trigger the start screen on the local computer, or the remote one?

'cuz that's by far my biggest beef with trying to invoke the Windows 8 Start screen from a windowed RDP session. The local machine intercepts the Windows key on a keyboard, so the only way to bring up the Start screen for a remote system is to s-l-o-w-l-y move the mouse over the tiny 4x4 pixel area in the lower-left corner until the popup shows itself.

Seriously? Have you ever even bothered to click "options" in the RDP connect screen? You can pass through win key commands. (Options->Local Resources->Keyboard)

Mordkanin said,
Seriously? Have you ever even bothered to click "options" in the RDP connect screen? You can pass through win key commands. (Options->Local Resources->Keyboard)

I bow to your obviously superior intellect. I've been using RDP since it was introduced as Terminal Services back on NT4, and my RDP usage habits have been formed during that time period. So you're right, by now, I never do bother to look at the options available, so I've missed that.

I'm thrilled to see someone with such a keen eye for detail is eager to part with his knowledge and experiences, and help others in such thoughtful and tactful manners. I can only hope to one day return the favor.

always like MS hardware, but that mouse with the button on the left, I can just imagine using it and hitting my thumb off it by accident and ahh start screen

They should make a button that mimics a definite touch, for swiping.

Hear me out... at the moment, a click and drag is slightly different to a touch and swipe. They should either fix that, or implement a button so you can tell Windows 8:

"I'm trying to swipe over the screen, rather than dragging the thing I clicked on before I started to drag the mouse."

lunamonkey said,
They should make a button that mimics a definite touch, for swiping.

Hear me out... at the moment, a click and drag is slightly different to a touch and swipe. They should either fix that, or implement a button so you can tell Windows 8:

"I'm trying to swipe over the screen, rather than dragging the thing I clicked on before I started to drag the mouse."

I don't understand what you mean? What are you trying to do?

mrp04 said,

I don't understand what you mean? What are you trying to do?

For non-touch desktops, there should be a method (by button press) to tell the computer to swipe, rather than click-drag.

(It would be cheaper than buying a touchpad for the desktop, even if it only achieves a "single finger" drag, with one touch point.)

Dot Matrix said,

Why? At least I can comfortably grasp this one.

Where do they have on display and you tested it? I could be interested to buy one but, as usual for mice, I need to feel it on my hand.

Tyler R. said,
Stupidest mouse I've seen since Apple's hockey puck mouse.

Nah that one still takes the case. This one just looks like the average MS mouse with a little more flare.

I set the thumb button on my logitech wireless mouse to do the same thing, once it becomes muscle memory it's very convenient.

LOVE this! Though, I wish the cyan tab was black with the Windows symbol in cyan (like the second one) I can see this being really useful.

Edited by j2006, May 23 2013, 4:31pm :

brianshapiro said,
There's a Start button on most keyboards I guess people need two of them, plus a third, on their screen

Don't forget there are already TWO start buttons in Windows 8.

Pluto is a Planet said,
Yes now they just need to add one for people using styli

Although it is hard to hit, you CAN hit the bottom left corner with a styli. Windows 8.1 will bring back the large windows logo which can be helpful for people using styli.

Otherwise system with styli are supposed to have a physical Windows button below the screen. If you're using a legacy system with a stylus but no windows button under the screen you can swipe in from the right to bring up the charms bar which has a start button.

brianshapiro said,
There's a Start button on most keyboards I guess people need two of them, plus a third, on their screen

I think for some that'd make it four buttons, my keyboard has 2 windows keys, left and right.

norseman said,
Great idea! This will help those people who had problems finding the start button
To bad it was never about finding the start button! Can this mouse remove that ugly UI also known as the start screen and the charms menu?

brianshapiro said,
There's a Start button on most keyboards I guess people need two of them, plus a third, on their screen

If you change "need" with "prefer" you could be right...

JHBrown said,
To bad it was never about finding the start button! Can this mouse remove that ugly UI also known as the start screen and the charms menu?

here we go again....

mrp04 said,

Although it is hard to hit, you CAN hit the bottom left corner with a styli. Windows 8.1 will bring back the large windows logo which can be helpful for people using styli.

Otherwise system with styli are supposed to have a physical Windows button below the screen. If you're using a legacy system with a stylus but no windows button under the screen you can swipe in from the right to bring up the charms bar which has a start button.

Yes but wouldn't it be nice to have one on the actual pen?

norseman said,
Great idea! This will help those people who had problems finding the start button

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL