Windows 8 is going to be nothing like Windows 7 or any operating system that has come before it. Microsoft wants to bring traditional computing a lot closer to mobile computing and the main way it is going about achieving this, in terms of impact on the end user, is by introducing touch as a main control/input method. Visit Windows 8: What You Need to Know
As current touchscreen laptops and all-in-one PCs only support two-touch gestures they won't be able to work fully with WIndows 8, thus won't be Windows 8 certified - the answer that Microsoft has come up with is the Windows 8 touch mouse. Here's how Microsoft describes the mouse's key touch features: "Four-Way Touch Scrolling - Scroll vertically and horizontally using the sleek touch strip. Flick up, down, and side to side to navigate spreadsheets, long documents, web pages and the new features of Windows 8. Scroll slowly with a gentle swipe or quickly with a flick of the finger, then tap to stop." Go to Windows 8 Tablet review.
Microsoft's has unveiled a range of three main mice that it feels are up to task. First up is the Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse that looks to be the flagship mouse and has a RRP of $69.95 (£45); secondly the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse which looks a lot more like a traditional mouse and has a RRP of $49.95 (£32); finally is the already available Touch Mouse which has a current RRP of $79.95 (£51).
Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse - $49.95
The best way to think of the Sculpt touch mouse is simply to picture a normal bluetooth mouse and chuck on a oblong 'touch strip'.
Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse - $69.95
The Wedge is a drastic change from the traditional mouse and although it looks pretty uncomfortable to use as a traditional mouse, it has the potential to bridge the gap between the old and the new in terms of hardware for Windows 8. The most important feature that the Wedge has is the large 60.9 x 53.6mm touch surface, which allows greater use of the four-way touch scrolling.
The Wedge Touch Mouse seems to be Microsoft's attempt to rival the Apple Magic Trackpad.
Microsoft Touch Mouse - $79.95
Touch mouse looks and feels just like a traditional mouse, but boasts a "large touch-sensitive surface that responds to one-, two-, and three-fingered gestures that are optimised for PC use".
N. B. For users of Microsoft's existing Touch Mouse, the firm will release an update for Windows 8 gestures when the operating system and Surface RT tablet launches on 26 October.