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Microsoft on Logitech's Darkfield mice: Pants!

Microsoft says only 7 percent of customers are interested in tracking on glass.

I don't normally indulge statements from vendors in response to other company's announcements. Guess what? They think you should buy their product instead. Normally it's the graphics card guys that snipe back and forth via my in-box, but this morning was the first time I've seen competing PR over mice.

Microsoft's BlueTrack-powered Explorer Mouse can track on your pants, but not a glass coffee table. Microsoft

After extensive research to determine where people want to track, BlueTrack was designed to work where people use their PCs most--around the house on granite, carpet or a bedspread to on-the-go at a coffee shop table, on an airplane tray or even on your jeans. Tracking on glass is not a high priority for users--in fact, 93 percent of people admit glass is not a surface they encounter when using their computer.

The above was from a Microsoft spokesperson vial email. BlueTrack refers to Microsoft's mouse sensor released last year, which, while versatile, can't track on glass like Logitech's new Darkfield laser, announced in two new mice this morning.

The reason I'm willing to give Microsoft some air time on this is mostly because I'm curious. If, according to Microsoft, Logitech's glass-tracking Darkfield laser meets the needs of only an additional seven percent of users beyond those satisfied by BlueTrack, exactly how many people were clamoring to track on their jeans prior to BlueTrack?

Logitech's Darkfield-powered Performance Mouse MX, on the other hand, can handle glass. Logitech

Microsoft actually makes a decent point later in the e-mail when it says that you can get a BlueTrack mouse for around $40. Logitech's new Darkfield mice go for $99 for the desktop model, and $79 for the laptop version. The price gap isn't surprising given that the Darkfield products hit the market today, but if you're currently experience mousing surface difficulties and you don't need to track on glass, Microsoft's BlueTrack products are a more cost-effective option than Logitech's new mice, at least for now.

Once Logitech's Darkfield prices start to drop, however, Microsoft's argument will be a little harder. If you're not a member of Microsoft's unserved glass-tracking seven percent, you wouldn't pay extra to track on glass right now. But as the price gap between Darkfield and BlueTrack mice inevitably narrows, why would you not opt to have glass-tracking capability for the same price? You could even keep it (wait for it...) in your jeans' back pocket.