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Microsoft confirms Arc Touch Mouse, takes digs at Apple

updated 11:45 am EDT, Wed September 1, 2010

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse made official

Microsoft today confirmed its repeatedly teased controller, the Arc Touch Mouse. The design is considered the first mouse to completely fold flat for travel and uses its namesake touch to achieve the goal: the center strip both serves for scrolling and as a multi-purpose area that handles middle-clicks and page up/down. Haptic feedback helps compensate for the absence of the detents that would normally accompany a physical scroll wheel.

Like most of Microsoft's newer mice, the Arc Touch finds its position with a BlueTrack blue laser and uses a very small USB receiver to beam input over RF wireless. The decision to skip Bluetooth gives it about six months of use, even with AAA batteries.

Pre-orders start later today at Amazon, Best Buy and, but shipments won't start until early December, when the Arc Touch will cost $70. Most outlets should have the mouse by January.

In unveiling the mouse, Microsoft also made an attempt to reclaim ground from Apple's Magic Trackpad by insisting that the Arc Touch Mouse is a revival. It acknowledged that touchscreens and touchpads were growing but rejected the idea that the "mouse's days are numbered." A third of notebook buyers still get a mouse with the system, the company claimed.

"The reasons people need external mice will not change: comfort and precision," Hardware Group lead Brett Ostrum said.

The statements show a degree of sensitivity at Microsoft, as Apple has readily said it doesn't expect a revolution in which the Magic Trackpad replaces the mouse. However, it has been one of the most vocal proponents of touchscreens and multi-touch trackpads and could cast doubt on a traditional keyboard-and-mouse model.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    How Will Apple Ever Recover Now?

    Wow ... from digs like that, Apple's clearly doomed. When will Apple learn you need USB dongles to make truly successful peripheral devices?

    (Removing tongue from cheek, laughing at MS once again, and returning to real life now.)

  1. Raman

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2001



    Seriously. Is BT *that* bad (or expensive to implement/purchase licenses for, etc) that they have to design, manufacture, and hog-up another USB port on a laptop (the intended audience)? Why not just use BT? It's already in a lot of PeeCee laptops/netbooks.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002


    The boys in Redmond are on the bleeding edge with this one.

  1. cmoney

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2000


    Bluetooth mice

    For some reason, Microsoft's mouse drivers don't work with their Bluetooth mice. I just got a Microsoft BT mouse (I wanted real buttons) and you can't configure the extra button through Apple's config screens.

    In fact a quick search showed some shareware preference pane to support Bluetooth mice with extra buttons.


    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009


    So 19th Century

    When will MS really become a high tech company - Never. They as so bleeding edge for the 19th century.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: BT

    Why not just use BT? It's already in a lot of PeeCee laptops/netbooks.

    It's on some laptops/netbooks. But it isn't on a lot of them (esp. counting existing items, not just newly shipping ones).

    So the mouse manufacturers generally follow the Apple philosophy: Have one product to save money on inventory and manufacturing. Since there are more potential customers who don't have BT than do, it is cheaper/easier to have just one RF mouse than to have an RF and a BT model.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008


    Get in line quick

    This will be a huge hit. Get in line now!

  1. ggirton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    this is what i want

    i want this for a Christmas gift. Haptic means it vibrates, right?

    What the heck IS it?

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