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Apple launches the Mighty Mouse

Four programmable buttons and a Scroll Ball

Apple has unveiled Mighty Mouse, the company’s next generation rodent.

Mighty Mouse offers users up to four independently programmable buttons and a Scroll Ball that lets users scroll in any direction — vertically, horizontally and even diagonally, according to Apple.

The release of Mighty Mouse ends years of holdout by Apple in not producing a multi-button mouse, despite many requests from users. Many switched to third-party, often Microsoft produced, multi-button mice, leaving Apple’s mouse in the box.

“We just weren’t willing to compromise on design and ease of use,” David Moody, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Mac Product Marketing said.

Although designed as a multi-button mouse, Apple says it retains the simplicity of a single button mouse and can be used as one, depending on the users' preferences.

“If you look at the multi-button mouse market today, they are all a little complex,” said Moody. “When we looked at what we wanted to do, we didn’t want to make it any more difficult than a single button mouse.”

Mighty Mouse features programmable touch sensors that act as primary or secondary buttons. With a click on the upper right or left side of the mouse, users can access features such as contextual menus found in Mac OS X and other applications. Mighty Mouse’s two other buttons are activated by pressing its Scroll Ball and squeezing its sides, and can be easily programmed to give users one-click access to OS X Tiger features such as Spotlight, Dashboard and Expose or to launch any application.

“We aren’t giving people this mouse just so they can scroll horizontally and vertically,” said Scott Broderick, Apple senior product manager, displays and peripherals. “In today’s applications like iMovie, GarageBand and Photoshop users want more flexibility, so we now allow them to scroll diagonally.”

When asked about the decision to use USB instead of Bluetooth in Mighty Mouse, Apple said that users who wanted a wireless solution could still purchase the Apple Bluetooth mouse. Mighty Mouse will cost US$49 (about £27).


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