Microsoft touts wireless keyboard, mouse for Macs

Microsoft expands its Apple-compatible lineup with Mac-friendly key layout and a mouse with tilt-wheel navigation. Photos: Keyboard, mouse for Mac

Microsoft formally unveiled on Tuesday a wireless keyboard and mouse for the Mac, expanding its lineup of Apple Computer-compatible products.

The software giant demonstrated the keyboard-and-mouse combination, called the Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac, at Macworld in January. The wireless keyboard incorporates Microsoft's Comfort Curve design with a Mac-oriented key layout and a wireless mouse that uses Microsoft's tilt-wheel navigation technology.

Photos: Keyboard, mouse for Mac

Despite Microsoft's mixed success with its Mac offerings in the past, analysts believe Microsoft will have greater success with its wireless keyboard and mouse for the Mac.

"The Mac Mini is an entry-level system that ships without a mouse or keyboard, so it makes sense for Microsoft and other third-party suppliers to go after that market," said Tim Bajarin, president of consulting group Creative Strategies. "When Steve Jobs announced the Mac Mini, he made it clear you could use any third-party mice or keyboard."

Microsoft's hardware group receives a sizable portion of its business from sales of its keyboards and mice, which are also compatible with Apple computers, Bajarin added.

Michael Gartenberg, a Jupiter Research analyst, noted the software giant has learned over the years to design its Mac products optimized for the Apple user rather than to just repackage its Windows products for the Mac.

Due to ship this summer, the Wireless Laser Desktop for the Mac is expected to retail for $99.95.

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