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Microsoft debuts laser game mouse

Company takes wraps off new crop of peripherals, including an ergonomic keyboard and mice equipped with a precision booster. Photos: Microsoft adds curves, lasers to peripherals

Microsoft on Tuesday rolled out a new set of peripherals, including a laser-based mouse with enhanced game performance features.

However, the company's first-ever laser mice, dubbed the 6000 series, come at least a year after Microsoft's peripheral rival Logitech unveiled its first laser mouse, the MX 1000. The new class of mice, which use a laser instead of a light-emitting diode to track their movements, are said to be 20 times more sensitive to surface details than conventional optical mice.

Microsoft peripherals

In addition to the $64.95 Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 for PCs and its notebook variant priced at $54.95, Microsoft is releasing a laser-equipped mouse-and-keyboard combo--the Wireless Laser Desktop 6000--for $104.95. Microsoft also released a corded laser mouse, dubbed Laser Mouse 6000, that specifically targets game players.

Apple Computer last month broke with mouse tradition to launch its first multibutton mouse.

Microsoft's laser pointers are equipped with a precision booster that the company says will let users comfortably switch between high-speed cursor movement and precise targeting that requires controlled navigation. Similarly, the products' game toggle enables them to easily shift between favorite weapons or program frequently used action sequences--all with a touch of a button. All laser-equipped products are scheduled to hit the market by October, the company said.

Microsoft also released a few optical mouse products, including the $54.95 Wireless Optical Mouse 5000; the Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 4000, at $44.95; the Notebook Optical Mouse 3000, at $34.95; and the $29.95 Comfort Optical Mouse 3000.

Other peripherals announced by Microsoft include the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. Priced at $64.95, the device is a rehash of the split keyboard first launched by the company in 1994. Like its predecessor, the Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 is designed for comfortable natural wrist and arm alignment.

The firm said the Wireless Optical Mouse 5000 and new keyboards will be available starting this month, whereas the new Xbox 360 Controller for XP-based PCs and Xbox 360 console--priced $44.95--will hit the market in November.