Review: Microsoft Touch Mouse for Windows 7

By Tom Warren, on 28th Aug 11 7:26 pm with 62 Comments

Microsoft Touch Mouse

Design and hardware

Microsoft has paid close attention to the design of the Touch Mouse. The mouse features rounded soft corners and a comfortable slope to rest your hand and wrist on. The surface of the mouse is made of matte plastic and features rows of raised dots and x’s. The rows outline the multitouch parts of the mouse surface. The bottom of the mouse features a shiny white plastic surface with quick access to the two AA batteries for the device. Microsoft has also created an area inside the bottom of the mouse to house the USB transceiver, presumably aimed at laptop users. Microsoft also ships a USB extension cable as part of the package to minimise any potential interference.

Microsoft has designed the mouse for ambidextrous use. Both left and right-handed users can operate it with ease. The mouse fits either hand comfortably. The Touch Mouse also features BlueTrack technology. The technology enables smooth tracking on most surfaces apart from clear glass or mirrors.

Setup

The setup of the Touch Mouse is surprisingly simple and speedy. The Touch Mouse works on a variety of operating systems, including Apple’s OS X, but the touch gestures only work correctly on Windows 7. To setup the mouse, you simply insert the USB transceiver into a spare USB port and Windows 7 will automatically install the relevant drivers required. Windows 7 users will also be promoted to download the latest IntelliPoint software to support multitouch gestures. Once the installation is complete, Microsoft presents a video demonstration of how to use the multitouch gestures of the device during a quick setup guide.

Touch Mouse gestures

Software and gestures

Microsoft’s software and settings features of the device are somewhat limited. Touch Mouse users can customise touch sensitivity easily but gestures are either on or off. The mouse supports a range of gestures. Using one finger, you can scroll vertically or horizontally and a quick flick in either direction will trigger a fast scroll. Using two fingers up and down will maximise or minimise a window. Using two fingers left and right will snap a window to the side of the screen using Windows 7′s Aero Snap feature.

Using three fingers allows you to manage multiple windows. A three finger slide up will enter a task switch mode similar to Apple’s Expose desktop view. Three fingers down will show the desktop. Perhaps the most useful gesture is the thumbing one. Slipping your thumb to the left or right will page back or forward in applications that support forward or back commands like Internet Explorer.

Touch Mouse window manager

Conclusion

Microsoft has created a capable touch mouse which demonstrates the way the company is heading. The Touch Mouse is the tip of the iceberg for some interesting desktop computing advances that Microsoft’s Research department has been planning for years. With Microsoft’s next generation of Windows on the horizon, you can only imagine how this will advance coupled with the hardware improvements Microsoft is planning to support in Windows 8. The mouse is a sturdy, well built and comfortable device to use. The joy of gesture support in Windows 7 makes this a must have gadget for every Windows 7 user. Just imagine the possibilities in Windows 8 and it’s an investment for the future.

The Microsoft Touch Mouse is available now for $79.99 (£50). Microsoft also ships a limited edition “artist” version of the mouse which features a unique design and white look.

  • Anonymous

    Need a dot-less and white version. So I can use it on my “Mac”

    • http://www.awesomeannie.com/ Sean M

      Don’t mention that dirty word on this here Windows site, Macs are for the brainwashed Apple cult. How do you even right-click on a Mac, oh wait you can’t.

    • http://www.awesomeannie.com/ Sean M

      Don’t mention that dirty word on this here Windows site, Macs are for the brainwashed Apple cult. How do you even right-click on a Mac, oh wait you can’t.

    • Anonymous

      You can right-click on a Mac.

    • Guest

      I’ve had to explain to at least half a dozen Mac users how to do it. Not exactly intuitive.

    • Anonymous

      The method is 100% the same as it is with a bog-standard PC mouse. How is that unintuitive.

      Mind you it did take me like a day to figure out that you have to press the touchpad to register any kind of click at all on the newer MacBooks.

    • Larry

      By default on a Mac RIGHT CLICK is not turned on.  You have to go to the System Preferences and turn it on.  If you have a Macbook you have to turn it on for a mouse and the track pad.

      Also you have to turn on “tap to click” on a Macbook as well or you have to press the touchpad down.

      Unintuitive.

    • Larry

      By default on a Mac RIGHT CLICK is not turned on.  You have to go to the System Preferences and turn it on.  If you have a Macbook you have to turn it on for a mouse and the track pad.

      Also you have to turn on “tap to click” on a Macbook as well or you have to press the touchpad down.

      Unintuitive.

    • Anonymous

      That’s the only annoyance I have about using new Macs. Having to set secondary click on every one is a pain. Too many don’t know how to turn it on, like you said.

    • Anonymous

      I got away with it almost instantly. If you’ve ever worked with a Mac, it should be second nature but obviously those Mac users are plain stupid. Subject: [winrumors] Re: Review: Microsoft Touch Mouse for Windows 7

    • Anonymous

      Thats is the thing about mac, an average user is unaware of the how-to, they have to ask someone about it, or never user that feature even though its right under their noses…while for Windows, its plain and simple..

    • Anonymous

      So what if he uses a mac, perhaps it runs windows. He may like the design or had good experiences with Apple’s tech support. As long as Windows is on that mac, it is a pc(not that it isn’t already, technically). 

    • Anonymous

      Talk about brainwashed.

      Right click was introduced in MacOS 9. All versions of MacOS X have had right click. Back in 2001. Ten years ago.How about next time you do a bit of research before you make false claims.

    • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      Not bad color wise, but why must ms do their stupid “artist” crap, they did it with zune too. Just give me a nice plain sleek looking device. 

    • Guest

      Female buyers.

    • http://twitter.com/OldCongress Gamer

      You are an iSheep.

  • Anonymous

    Need a dot-less and white version. So I can use it on my “Mac”

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    looks like some cheap piece of plastic… wouldn’t spend £20+ on it 

    • http://twitter.com/OldCongress Gamer

      You are an iSheep.

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      what’s an iSheep?

    • http://www.facebook.com/Michiel.Papp Michiel Papp

      someone that just repeats steve jobs words straight out of his mouth. The materials are almost the same. owh and while i’m at it…..aluminium for laptop shell’s isn’t a good idea and it isn’t a premium material as it is cheaper then regular cases :p

      You sir are a isheep for believing the marketing crap apple sent flying to your head :)

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      Apple sent no marketing in my head… Believe me you will find no Apple products in this house for a reason… they are all a piece of shit but this mouse with comparison to the magic mouse is like a cheaply built made for profit mouse. And isheep? biggest crap i have ever heard… wow

    • Anonymous

      Nah, you’re an iSheep.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Michiel.Papp Michiel Papp

      And you keep being an isheep notheless.

      Apple doesn’t use quallity materials btw. The mighty mouse is made of the same crap plastic like everything else (for a reason btw). And apple’s premium materials are often just different materials that are worse. Ever think why laptops are made of plastic while aluminium is potentially cheaper?

      It’s because plastic absorbs more shocks then aluminium hense keeping your laptop internals safer. + aluminium conducts heating like a pro, making the entire casing a heat sink…….that’s not good in case your wondering.

      You are an isheep for believing anything like those “apple premium materials” excist. (don’t get me started over retard things like “retina display”)

      The mouse looks fairly good and I like the blue led technology, alas I find my cyborg R.A.T. 7 better suited for my needs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Michiel.Papp Michiel Papp

      And you keep being an isheep notheless.

      Apple doesn’t use quallity materials btw. The mighty mouse is made of the same crap plastic like everything else (for a reason btw). And apple’s premium materials are often just different materials that are worse. Ever think why laptops are made of plastic while aluminium is potentially cheaper?

      It’s because plastic absorbs more shocks then aluminium hense keeping your laptop internals safer. + aluminium conducts heating like a pro, making the entire casing a heat sink…….that’s not good in case your wondering.

      You are an isheep for believing anything like those “apple premium materials” excist. (don’t get me started over retard things like “retina display”)

      The mouse looks fairly good and I like the blue led technology, alas I find my cyborg R.A.T. 7 better suited for my needs.

    • Anonymous

      Funny, I’ve had less problems with heat using my MBP than I’ve ever had with any other laptop. And the Magic Mouse may not work all that well in many ways, but I can’t fault its build quality. How does preferring one mouse to another give you the impression that he’s some kind of fanboy?

      I wouldn’t say you’re a sheep, you’re just a fucking idiot.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    looks like some cheap piece of plastic… wouldn’t spend £20+ on it 

  • http://twitter.com/mattweihl Matthew Weihl

    Did you damage your thumb? It looks hideous, I might add.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Thanks :( Yeah I did, I dropped a HP Z600 workstation on it.

    • http://twitter.com/mattweihl Matthew Weihl

      Ouch. :(

    • http://twitter.com/ThomasMaurer Thomas Maurer

      lucky it wasn’t a z800 ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/mattweihl Matthew Weihl

    Did you damage your thumb? It looks hideous, I might add.

  • Brian Hughes

    Does it have physical left/right mouse buttons? Or do you just tap the touch surface to click?

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      No physical buttons at all, to go back you simply thumb over the side of the device.

    • http://twitter.com/quentez Quentin Calvez

      I think he meant the LEFT/RIGHT click buttons and not the PREVIOUS/FORWARD gestures…

    • Brian Hughes

      Yeah, I meant the left/right clicking. But since you say no physical buttons at all, I think that answers my question.

    • Anonymous

      No, it doesn’t. Left+Right click are from a physical button.

    • http://twitter.com/Autobots9 Kenneth Cochran

      No the mouse has a single click button surface.  The mouse can sense left and right click, but there are not two physical buttons. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/rknevhulaudzi Rendani K Nevhulaudzi

    Looks great, wanna buy one for my notebook

  • http://twitter.com/phrequencyviii Andrew Lawrence

    So, uh, can you play games with this thing Tom?

    • Anonymous

      You definitely cannot. It’s useless for gaming for the same reasons that the Magic Mouse also is: scrolling with your finger will more often than not register as too many hits of the scroll wheel or none at all, you can’t right and left click at the same time and you can’t middle click at all.

      Great for office work (and the office is where I have mine living now), but it’s a crap gaming mouse.

    • Anonymous

      You definitely cannot. It’s useless for gaming for the same reasons that the Magic Mouse also is: scrolling with your finger will more often than not register as too many hits of the scroll wheel or none at all, you can’t right and left click at the same time and you can’t middle click at all.

      Great for office work (and the office is where I have mine living now), but it’s a crap gaming mouse.

    • http://twitter.com/phrequencyviii Andrew Lawrence

      I figured…I really like the mouse for work flow reasons, but I also play computer games. I don’t want two mice. I wish it was bluetooth or something too, I don’t like receivers. Guess I’ll stick with my Razer Orochi (for travel) and Alienware TactX (for desk).

  • Anonymous

    Tom, how is this different from the the other arc touch  mouse?

    • Anonymous

      bigger

  • mesasr

    a couple of days ago I ordered a new laptop and also a touch mouse for it and I must say I am almost as excited about this gadget as I am about the laptop!!
    looks like the mouse itself doesnt have many hardware issues thankfully and even with that large unusual touch surface its still looks and feels like a real mouse (unlike the magic mouse), the remaining issues and the full potential can be solved and achieved with some driver updates and of course Win8
    however I have a question regarding that general clicking, Tom can you confirm that when you left click while the other finger is resting on the right click area (its always like that), it actually recognizes as a right click? I read somewhere that maybe its because there is only one click and every time it determines which one based on your fingers position, so when a finger is already on the right side before the click, it has no chance to recognize a left click
    now that may be a real problem, it would be really hard to always have only one finger on it at a time

    • Guest

      I have been using this mouse for two days now, if both of your fingers are resting on the mouse than you cannot right click.  This has been annoying me since the mouse arrived.

      I am also having issues scrolling and am debating using my old mouse. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000368111668 João Pedro Melo

    I want that like right now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000368111668 João Pedro Melo

    I want that like right now.

  • Anonymous

    love my touchmouse but “right-clicking” is not obvious. you have to click in the front middle of the mouse. odd.  sensitivity is amazing though.  I wish inserting the dongle into the bottom of the mouse would kill the power.

  • Tada

    This thing is not worth the money. Read the Amazon reviews before buying it. It does not work well at all.

    • Anonymous

      Mine works really well.  There is a learning curve for sure.

    • http://twitter.com/Autobots9 Kenneth Cochran

      Bought one also, works great.  The problems some people have are from not installing the correct drivers or not giving the mouse program administrative level privileges.  Not good for gaming but everything else works great. 

  • Anonymous

    i would have bought this if it does not require batteries

  • Anonymous

    the design really reminds me of a Cylon Centurion in BSG, i might add

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Viki-Maverick/100002523433166 Viki Maverick

    Lets not get into this Mac vs Windows fight.

    Bottom line is this mouse with Windows 8 on a Apple Mac would kick ass….

    Awesome Dawsome.

    • Anonymous

      I see your point, but isn’t that almost inviting a Mac/Win fight? :-)

  • Anonymous

    Despite what some may think about me and my Macs, Microsoft mice have always been the best. From the first, million+ click guaranteed, mouse-bus, soap bar version, which had the roller where it belonged – almost under your finger tips/buttons, to this one. MS has made some really great mice.

    Logitech only beat them with their smooth triangular 3 button mouse. Joysticks are another matter.

  • Anonymous

    I like the look, but my Logitech M510 is the perfect wireless mouse. I don’t do all that multi-touch gesture stuff on a desktop as it doesn’t make much sense to me.

  • http://twitter.com/RobertCFP Robert Wade

    As much as I like the way this approach to a mouse, it’s not practical from a gaming perspective.  I do a lot of FPS gaming, and I just don’t see a touchmouse being appropriate for that.

    • http://twitter.com/Autobots9 Kenneth Cochran

      It is not marketed at all as a gaming mouse, multi-purpose, but  nowhere does it say for gaming.  Great mouse though