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80,259 News Articles

A sackful of Microsoft goodies for Christmas

Consumer product range will help you top up that list for Santa


Microsoft has unveiled several new additions to its home products range, from optimal mice and keyboards to voice-activated games controllers.

First up are Microsoft's ergonomically designed black and silver Wireless Optical Desktop Pro keyboard and mouse (pictured) which will hit the shelves on 19 September, priced £99.99.

The keyboard offers custom hot keys to quick-start Word and other selected applications, as well as fast access to emails and enhanced F key features — allowing you to open and save documents at the touch of a button, for instance. The mouse, meanwhile, sports a broader scrollwheel for easier control.

For those after a discreet yet elegant-looking mouse, the Notebook Optical, with its stylish silver casing and amber scrollwheel and restpad, might fit the bill. The slightly smaller than average mouse, has been designed for portability and the optical sensor, which scans the service beneath the mouse, can work on any surface.

The Notebook Optical mouse will be available from 26 September and will cost £24.99.

On the gaming front, Microsoft has introduced its SideWinder Game Voice controller that enables both voice commands and voice chat over a LAN (local area network) during gameplay.

The Game Voice's speech recognition engine means gamers can talk to friends while online and say simple commands to characters instead of hunting for keyboard shortcuts. The controller is available now for £49.99.

As well as hardware, Microsoft also announced the launch of its new Encarta Encyclopaedia, which went on sale last Friday priced £29.99.

With over 30,000 up-to-date articles, images, videos and animations, Encarta is an essential research tool for adults and children.


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