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Microsoft Goes Into The Blue

Redmond, Wash. — Microsoft Hardware today announced several PC accessories, including two mice with its new BlueTrack technology.

BlueTrack tracking technology, found in the Explorer and Explorer Mini mice announced today, enables mice to work “well on virtually any surface,” according to the company. Representatives met with TWICE earlier this summer for a demonstration, and they brought with them a variety of surfaces, including shag carpeting and granite, to display the mice’s ability to operate.

According to Microsoft, the Explorer will appeal to business travelers, who will no longer have to tote along a mousepad, as well as home laptop users, who often carry their laptops into the kitchen.

The Explorer has a $79.95 suggested retail and the Mini is priced at $59.95.

In addition to the Explorer, Microsoft announced two other mice: the Arc mouse ($59.95, available this month) and the wireless Mobile mouse 3000 ($29.95, October). The Arc mouse features a design that enables it to be folded closed, reducing its size “by almost half.” It’s offered in red or black and comes with a micro transceiver.

The 3000 has a battery-status indicator and an on/off switch. Six colors are offered: black, white, blue sapphire, red garnet, pink topaz, purple amethyst and green emerald.

A wireless desktop set was also released from Microsoft. The wireless media desktop 6000 comes with a Comfort Curve keyboard with hot keys, My Favorites Keys, enhanced F keys and shortcut keys, as well as a wireless laser mouse with a snap-in transceiver. The desktop set will be available this month for $99.99.

Two Web cams completed the product announcements from the company today — the LifeCam VX-5500 ($59.95, available this month) and the LifeCam Show ($99.95, October). The VX-5500 has an attachment base that’s meant for use on either a desktop or a notebook. It comes with three interchangeable faceplates (red, white and blue) and lets users send and receive video messages with Microsoft’s Video Messages feature.

The LifeCam Show can operate with a desktop stand or an attachment disc, or it can be clipped to a laptop. It also comes with Video Messages.