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Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse brings back the Start button

Microsoft's newest peripheral has a snazzy blue Start key on its flank.

Microsoft's newest peripheral brings the Start button back to Windows 8 at last -- in mouse form, at least.

The freshly unveiled Sculpt Comfort Mouse has a blue, touch-sensitive button on its flank that bears the familiar Windows 8 logo.

Using your thumb, you'll be swiping around on this button to perform various Windows-themed tasks. Swiping up on the strip cycles through open apps, while swiping down shows you all the programs you have opened in a zoomed-out view.

You can press the button too, catapulting you back to the colourful, tile-centric Windows Start Screen.

If the Sculpt Comfort Mouse is more luxurious than you feel your hands deserve, Microsoft is also flogging a cheaper option, dubbed the Sculpt Mobile Mouse. This doesn't have the same touch-sensitive features, but still features a bespoke Windows button, nestled right underneath the scroll wheel.

The Sculpt Comfort Mouse comes out on 19 June for £35, while the Mobile Mouse hits shelves on 29 May for £30.

Microsoft's Start button used to be the epicentre of the Windows world, but the software giant removed it in Windows 8, which launched last year. Rumours suggest that Ballmer and pals are primed to backtrack on that move though, and will reintroduce the convenient launcher in an update.

If you're struggling with Windows 8 and wish it looked a bit more familiar, check out our guide on making Windows 8 look like Windows 7.

Are you a Windows fan? Would you like the see the Start button return? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.