CNET First Look
Microsoft's Mouse without BordersControl and move files between up to four PCs with one mouse and keyboard with Microsoft's new, free, and easy-to-use Windows app.
Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET. Today, we're gonna take a look at a new app from Microsoft called Mouse without Borders. So, the idea behind Mouse without Borders is that it lets you use one mouse and keyboard to control multiple Windows PCs. So, we've downloaded the software in the system over here and it's really easy to setup. We install the app and it gets you this Let's Get Started screen. It asks first if you would install Mouse without Borders on other systems. So, we're gonna say "No" here and that generates the security code and the name of this computer which we then plug into another PC where we've also installed the same program. So, we've already Mouse without Borders on this other PC over here and you can see the same Startup screen but this time we're gonna say 'Yes" and it brings us to a screen where we can enter in the security code and the system name from the other computer. So, let's punch that in and then you can see the systems are connected. So, we'll set up both computers. So, you can see the program let you control up to a four systems on the same network. We're only gonna use two here for the sake of simplicity. But that said, earlier we are able to connect two Windows 7 PCs and the Windows XP machine on the same network and things aren't flossy. We had no problems. So, take a look over here. You can see this Option screen. It gives you a few more settings to play around with. Now, with the Default setting, we can simply drag the mouse cursor over to the other display but here you can see there's a setting that's lets you use a key to toggle to switch between systems and the software also lets you drag and drop screens here that kind of help you make sense a bit of order in which you're gonna move the mouse between systems. So, with the wireless mouse, you can see it has no problem tracking the cursor between the PCs. So, the mouse works seamlessly pretty much. There's no noticeable input lag. You can right-click. You can move windows around. You can launch applications. It works exactly as you would expect a mouse that was connected to the system. Now, despite its name, you can also use it to type on the other PC. Now, on top of letting you control multiple PCs, you can also use Mouse without Borders to drag and drop files between computers. So, we've pick one up. We brought it to the other system. So, as you can see the software is really easy to use and it works pretty much as you would expect. We also found and did some things we didn't expect. For example, it recognizes hardware volume keys on the keyboard to control volume on the other PC. Now, it has some limitations. Brightness keys on this keyboard won't change that display over there for example. We also had problems with games. The mouse sensor is just way too high and we couldn't adjust that or even use them in game menu. Overall though, we can see place scenarios where Mouse without Borders will be amazingly useful from education scenarios, in a dorm, in a support environment, at home. Pretty much anywhere you have multiple Windows PCs that want to talk to each other. And, one of the other great parts about the software is that it's freely available for download from Microsoft. I'm Rich Brown and this has been a quick demo for Microsoft's Mouse without Borders.