Microsoft Mouse: Less Isnt More

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2002-09-16 Print this article Print

In many ways, it seems that if a product exists, Microsoft also has to offer one.

In many ways, it seems that if a product exists, Microsoft also has to offer one. This has led to strange products, especially in the companys hardware line.

To be fair, Microsofts hardware products have generally been as good as anything else—and in some cases, such as its excellent game controllers, among the best. But with its new $34.95 Notebook Optical Mouse, Microsoft has come up short, in more ways than one.

I like both optical and notebook mice. If I never have to use any of the integrated pointing devices in notebooks again, Ill be very happy. But compared with most other notebook mice Ive seen, the Notebook Optical Mouse leaves something to be desired.

First, it isnt that small. Its about one-third smaller than a regular Microsoft mouse and just as deep. This is just small enough to make it uncomfortable to use without being small enough to be convenient.

Second, unlike every other optical mouse Ive used, the Microsoft Notebook Optical Mouse does not provide a PS/2 adapter for its USB interface, meaning you need to give up one of your USB slots.

Finally, the cord on the Notebook Optical Mouse is too short. My laptop has its USB ports on the left side; consequently, I had to stretch the cord around the back of my laptop and keep the mouse farther back than was comfortable. Youd be better off bringing a regular mouse on trips.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr Rapoza's current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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