Product Watch: Mousing Around Microsoft Finally Gets A Product For The Mac Right!

IntelliMouse Explorer

Microsoft's innovative IntelliMouse Explorer features optical tracking technology in place of a mouse ball. It is the first input device to come out of Microsoft that is dual platform compatible, working on both Macintosh and Windows machines.

Is sports a sleek design with a silver industrial finish and a glowing red underside. The IntelliEye optical technology replaces the mouse's traditional ball with an optical sensor and digital signal processor (DSP) that work together to provide smooth, precise pointer movement on almost any surface from a wall to pant leg.

The optical sensor captures high-resolution digital snapshots at the rate of 1,500 images per second. The built in digital signal processor compares those images and translates the changes into on-screen pointer movements. The technique is called image correlation processing. It results in 18 million instructions per second (MIPS). Traditional Mice execute around 1.5 MIPS, making the IntelliMouse about 12 times more precise.

In addition to the new tracking technology, the IntelliMouse Explorer provides users with a scrolling wheel and two additional customizable buttons on the left side of the mouse which can be used for Internet navigation or program shortcuts, such as print, save, copy, cut or paste. The mouse connects to a iMac or Power Mac by means of a USB port.

Gone are the moving parts inside the Mouse. This helps it avoid the Mouse's traditional enemies - such as food crumbs, dust and grime. After years of use the Mouse should be just as responsive as the day it was purchased.

"We know Mac users appreciate superior design and functionality in their hardware" said Tim McDonough, Mouse Line product manager at Microsoft. "Graphic designers and other whose work requires extreme accuracy will love the Explorer IntelliEye tracking ability."

"Apple's innovations in functionality, esthetics and USB support continue to raise the bar for other manufacturers," said Clent Richardson, vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, Apple Computer Inc. "The solid technology and cool silver design of the IntelliMouse Explorer should make it a big hit with Macintosh users."

System Requirements

  • 15 MB of available hard-disk space
  • Macintosh OS 8.51 or later operating systems; iMac also requires iMac update 1.1
  • USB port

A recent Macworld review gave the IntelliMouse Explorer 4 mice out of a possible 5 and said this about the product:

"At $75, the IntelliMouse is by no means the least expensive USB mouse on the market. But if you hate cleaning your mouse and you want a device that looks like it belongs on the starship Enterprise, the IntelliMouse is an excellent choice."

IntelliMouse Explorer MSRP: $75 .......... Check for lowest price


Not satisfied? Visit the Microsoft Mouse Web Site

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