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This week in Apple

Apple Computer broke with longstanding tradition this week by introducing its first multibutton mouse for the Mac.

Apple Computer broke with longstanding tradition this week by introducing its first multibutton mouse for the Mac.

Dubbed Mighty Mouse, Apple's new $49 pointer has a 360-degree scroll wheel and can be programmed to recognize a click on either the left or right side. For Apple purists, it can also act as a single-button mouse.

Multibutton mice have been standard on Windows PCs for years, and even the Mac OS has long recognized a right click. However, the company has stuck by its single-button design, refining it and adding a Bluetooth wireless version, but maintaining only a single-click option.


Of the dozens of CNET News.com readers who offered feedback to this story, some were Apple fans heralding the mouse as an innovative new pointing device and lauding the "stroke of genius" from CEO Steve Jobs. Others, however, took a more facetious tone.

"Apple certainly is on the forefront of new and innovative technology!" wrote David Arbogast. "How long will it be before the PC industry 'steals' this amazing new idea?"

Reader "Fray Fray" defended the new mouse, writing that "actually it is something pretty new. I know I've never seen much less heard of a mouse with a built in mini-trackball and touch sensitive buttons."

Meanwhile, Apple fans are upset over a security chip found in a special x86-based PowerMac--a chip designed to prevent people from loading the company's new Intel-centered OS onto non-Apple machines.

Apple supplied the Intel-fitted PowerMac to members of its Apple Developer Connection, a group for software programmers. The PowerMac includes a microcontroller known as the Trusted Platform Module--TPM for short--that contains a digital signature necessary in order to install the Mac OS X operating system onto the box.