Thursday, September 14, 2006

Microsoft Announces New Hardware for Windows Vista

Microsoft announced yesterday in the a press release that its hardware line, consisting of mice, keyboards and LifeCams would be compatible with Windows Vista upon the operating system's launch to retail customers.

In addition to this, Microsoft is releasing three new desktop (keyboard and mouse) sets that will take advantage of features in Windows Vista, so that users can easily accomplish everyday tasks, find what they are looking for and enjoy the latest in entertainment.

Here are photographs of the new products.

Wireless Laser Desktop 6000

Wireless Laser Desktop 6000

Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000

Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000

Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000

Wireless Laser Mouse 8000

Wireless Laser Mouse 8000

Among the features that will be on these new keyboards include:

  • The Windows Start Button offers one-touch access to the Windows Vista Start menu, with search functionality built in for searching the Internet or the PC.
  • The Gadget Button reveals or hides the personalized information consumers use most, such as weather and sports.
  • The Windows Live Call Button provides users with the easiest way to start an instant messaging session or a video call. It is like speed dialing for webcams.
  • The Media Center Start Button allows users to instantly access media, including movies and music (WED only).

The Wireless Laser Desktop 6000 features Microsoft’s Comfort Curve Keyboard design with a cushioned palm rest that encourages natural hand and wrist positioning, an easy-to-use layout for enhanced comfort and productivity, and an optional 5-degree reverse slope in addition to the standard 0-degree and positive tilts.

The desktop is also only an inch thick and includes many of the performance elements of the Entertainment line, including the Windows Start Button and Gadget Button.

The included Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 features Microsoft’s High Definition Laser Technology, which delivers more responsiveness, more precision and smoother tracking, even on uneven surfaces, as well as the new Instant Viewer, Magnifier and Tilt Wheel tools.

The Wireless Entertainment Desktops tap into the most innovative wireless technology with 2.4GHz Bluetooth technology. Featuring First Connect Technology, the desktops will work on PCs right out of the box. For added convenience, the transceiver supports a variety of Bluetooth profiles for connections to multiple Bluetooth devices. Even with multiple wireless connections, users will find virtually no interference as a result of intelligent technology that “hops” when it encounters a trouble spot.

As suggested by its name, the Wireless Entertainment Desktops are designed with entertainment in mind. The transition between work and play is effortless with the new keyboards; with up to a 30-foot range and compact design, they are ideal for on- and off-desktop use. For hassle-free entertainment, both desktops feature a navigation pad on the keyboard, which allows users to control the cursor from wherever they are. Users can kick back and relax on the couch and watch a movie or flip through a collection of favorite songs; with the integrated navigation pad, there is no need to get up to find the remote control or mouse.

The Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 is set to take take entertainment to the extreme with its smart backlighting features. When users want to kick back, they can simply dim the lights and use the keyboard to control the TV show they just downloaded. The automatic backlighting lets them easily see all the keys without compromising the relaxed atmosphere. With its ambient light sensing, the backlighting is automatically adjusted based on the amount of light in the room. It also features proximity awareness to sense when the user walks away from the keyboard, which prompts it to turn off to conserve battery life and turn back on when the user returns.

The Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 is also the first rechargeable keyboard that will allow users to power both the mouse and keyboard in one easy-to-use charging station and remain fully functioning while charging. The keyboard slides under the horizontal charging station and the mouse rests on top, providing a space-saving and sturdy recharging solution. To enable extra convenience and enhance the entertainment features, the docking station is equipped with three available Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 ports for devices such as digital cameras, MP3 players and Microsoft LifeCams.

Paired with the new Wireless Entertainment Desktop keyboards is Microsoft’s first rechargeable mouse, the Wireless Laser Mouse 8000. The new mouse is the ultimate in sophistication, introducing a chic design with metal accents. It charges on the horizontal charging station, providing a sturdy base for mouse recharging and a blinking light for charge confirmation. The Wireless Laser Mouse 8000 delivers the ultimate Bluetooth experience and incorporates several new standout features:

  • Performance Slider. Users can optimize performance for intense PC tasks or lower it to extend battery life.
  • Instant Viewer. One-click access enables users to view all open windows and applications at once.
  • Quick charging. The mouse fully recharges in less than 90 minutes.
  • Faster than wired. Users will experience virtually no latency.

The Wireless Laser Mouse 8000 also includes Microsoft’s proprietary High Definition Laser Technology and five customizable buttons, including the Magnifier and Tilt Wheel.

Pricing and availability for these products is as follows:

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Anonymous said...

Wow, Microsoft actually released a keyboard (on the Wireless Laser Desktop 6000) where the home/delete/ins/end/pgup/pgdn cluster is actually back to 'normal'.

It's too bad the Wireless Entertainment Desktops don't have the numeric keypad though...

Anonymous said...

Hopefully the cursor on the keyboard is easier to control than the current MCE Remote Keyboard. The pointer on the MCE Remote Keyboard is a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

What i really need now whith MCE integrated in VISTA is a Pocket PC remote software... I don't want to bring a keyboard in my sofa or my bed !