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A quick look back at when a Microsoft mouse and keyboard mashed up with Razer tech

Microsoft habu mouse with Razer

Earlier this week, Razer announced its two latest PC gaming mice, the wired Cobra and the wireless Cobra Pro. They continue the company's legacy of making some of the best PC accessories for gaming. However, over 15 years ago, there was a brief time when you could get Razer's high-end gaming PC technology inside a Microsoft mouse, and later in a keyboard.

In 2006, Microsoft launched a viral marketing campaign with a website with the URL notfornoobs.com (an address that is, apparently, available for sale right now). The site later revealed itself to be promoting the Microsoft Habu gaming mouse. This mouse was promoted as "Powered by Razer Precision" because it used that company's laser sensor technology, among other things.

microsoft habu mouse

Inside the Habu was Razer's 2,000 DPI laser sensor, which was considered to be pretty fast at the time. It also allowed users to adjust the DPI setting with the included software, which again was not normally done with a mouse at that time.

It had 32 KB of onboard memory to store up to five different control profiles. Finally, the thumb buttons were removable. You could switch the panel to a pair of keys that were lower on the mouse, or one where they were higher up on the mouse.

The Habu even had Razer's familiar large and flared-out two main buttons on the front. The back of the mouse is where both the Microsoft logo and the larger base, similar to its Intellimouse products, were found.

The Microsoft Habu went on sale for the price of $69.99 in the fall of 2006. Reviews were mostly positive. Today, you might be able to find an unopened version of the Habu on eBay for prices that are $250 and up.

Microsoft reclusa keyboard

In 2007, Microsoft and Razer teamed up again for the release of the Microsoft Reclusa keyboard. In terms of its overall design, it didn't look very different compared to some other Microsoft keyboards, aside from its rounded edges.

It does include 10 custom keys, five on either side, that can be programmed with the available software for different uses. However, reviewers of the Reclusa were not happy with the fact that only five custom profiles could be stored inside, compared to the popular Logitech G15 gaming keyboard which could store a lot more. The Reclusa also had two 360-degree dials on either side as well.

The keys themselves were marketed as using Razer's "Hyperesponse Gaming Key Action", which allowed users to press on the keys faster with less latency compared to some other keyboards. It also had a blue LED backlight for the keys, but unfortunately, you couldn't turn them off.

The release of the Reclusa was also the end of the direct collaboration between Microsoft and Razer. There's no word as to why this mashup of these two companies didn't continue, although the muted response from reviewers might have been a consideration.

Razer has, of course, continued to release some great gaming PC products, including new mice like the Cobra and Cobra Pro. It's even expanded its hardware efforts into new areas, like Xbox controllers like the Wolverine V2, and even making high-end Windows PC gaming laptops with its many Blade notebooks.

Sadly, Microsoft has gone in the other direction with its PC accessories line. While it certainly still makes its Surface tablets and notebooks, it announced earlier in 2023 it would no longer sell PC accessories like mice and keyboards under the Microsoft brand.

Officially, the company says it will still sell those kinds of products with the Surface brand, but right now we don't have any info on what they will be like. Hopefully one day, Microsoft will make a return to the gaming PC accessories industry.

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