Microsoft Licenses Mouse, Keyboard Technology

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-03-29 Print this article Print

The hardware licensing initiative, which covers its Tilt Wheel and Magnifier tool, is a first for the company.

Microsoft has made new intellectual property licensing initiatives available for its hardware technologies, a first for the Redmond, Wash., software giant. The new intellectual property licensing initiatives cover its mouse and keyboard technologies; "U2" technology that enables a computer peripheral device to be connected to a computer using either a PS2 or USB auto-sensing interface; its Tilt Wheel; and the Magnifier viewing and editing tool that is used with input devices such as a mouse.
Online demonstrations of the Tilt Wheel and Magnifier features are available here.
Microsoft will make these technologies broadly available to third-party brands and hardware manufacturers in the mobile and desktop peripherals industry. "This hardware licensing initiative is a first for Microsoft, and were excited to make our innovations broadly available to others in the industry through licensing. Weve been a hardware innovator and supplier to the desktop peripherals industry for over 20 years," Robbie Bach, the president of Microsofts Entertainment and Devices Division, said in a statement. The move is part of Microsofts commitment to its December 2003 promise to make its IP portfolio broadly available for licensing to all interested parties, Bach said. Some of the first licensees have welcomed the move. Steve Peterson, director of Marketing at Fellowes, said that access to the U2 technology took the guesswork out of the equation for suppliers and consumers, and allowed it to further its commitment to enabling people to work with greater productivity. Microsoft has also moved over the past year to strengthen and broaden the intellectual property protections it offers OEM partners. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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