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Microsoft Debuts Vista-Optimized Keyboards

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft today introduced its latest high-end keyboard and mouse desktop set, the Wireless Laser Desktop 7000, designed to complement the Windows Vista operating system and its Windows Aero graphical user interface.

The desktop set includes an ultra-thin Comfort Curve keyboard; rechargeable mouse; an Aero-inspired smoked translucent border; quiet touch keys; and “floating” My Favorites keys that deliver one-touch access to users’ most-used Web sites, files and folders. Favorites are programmed when a user pushes and holds a key to assign it to the current destination, much like a car stereo’s preset buttons.

The 7000’s Comfort Curve design encourages a more natural typing position with a slight 6-degree curve, according to the company. It also features instant access to Windows Flip 3D to take advantage of Aero’s multilayer visuals.

The design of the included Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 complements that of the keyboard. The horizontal charging station base unit has a battery status indicator. Microsoft claims a rechargeable mouse can reduce a user’s battery consumption by up to 80 percent over three years of use.

The Desktop 7000 features advanced 2.4GHz wireless frequency-hopping technology to counter interference in crowded wireless environments with multiple computers. It offers a range of about 30 feet and features a plug-and-play transceiver.

“This keyboard is a perfect example of Microsoft’s focus on connecting its hardware with Windows Vista, bringing the elegance of Windows Aero to the keyboard,” said Carla Forester, group marketing manager at Microsoft.

“We are thrilled to see the simplicity and beauty of the Windows Vista Aero experience conveyed in the Wireless Laser Desktop 7000,” said Jeff Price, senior director in the Windows Group at Microsoft. “With the smoked translucent border and floating keys, this keyboard is a true extension of the dynamic design of Windows Vista.”

The Wireless Laser Desktop 7000 will be available in April for a suggested retail of $129.

Also new from Microsoft is the economy-priced Digital Media Keyboard 3000, an ultra-thin wired keyboard also designed to optimize Vista’s features. It allows one-touch access to photos, Windows Media Player, My Favorites keys, zoom, Flip 3D and the Windows start button.

The 3000 will be available in June for a suggested retail of $29.95.