LAS VEGAS--Not mentioned at today's CES keynote address from Microsoft was something new--a multitouch mouse that's been designed to bring special gesture features to Windows 7 users.
Readers with a good memory might take one look at what Microsoft is calling Touch Mouse, and recognize it as the "Cap Mouse" from October of 2009, which the company unveiled as one of five mousing prototypes. Since then the mouse has cut the cord, tapered out in front, been given a completely different finish (black and red instead of gray and dark gray), and a $79.95 price tag.
The Touch Mouse makes use of multitouch gestures to put nine different system shortcuts up at the top of the mouse instead of using buttons. By the number of fingers, Microsoft breaks them down like so:
One finger lets you manage the content of a document or Web page. Moving one finger lets you precisely scroll in any direction and hyperscroll through long documents with a quick flick of your finger, while using your thumb lets you move back/forward easily through your internet browser.
Two fingers lets you manage multiple windows by maximizing, minimizing, restoring, and snapping them side-by-side.
Three fingers lets you navigate the whole desktop--three fingers up to display all of your open windows for easy task switching or three fingers down for clearing the desktop entirely.
It's worth noting these gestures are only available to Windows 7 users--no word yet on whether the mouse reverts to something more standard on older hardware. Microsoft has a video of these gestures in action, which you can watch below:
The mouse joins Microsoft's Arc Touch as another touch-friendly mouse in the company's hardware lineup. Microsoft says it will hit store shelves in May, though places like Amazon are already taking preorders.