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Microsoft intros Arc Mouse, video effect webcams

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Tue September 9, 2008

MS Arc Mouse and LifeCams

Microsoft tonight planned to inject some style into its wireless mice with a genuine one-off notebook mouse design. The now official Arc Mouse is thought to have the best advantages of both desktop and notebook mice courtesy of a fold-out hand support: the fully extended mouse has the surface area of a desktop mouse but folds shut to take up as much space as notebook mice. Microsoft has also taken a cue from Logitech's Nano receivers and has a micro transceiver under 1cm (0.4in) that can safely be left in a notebook's USB port without snapping off or adding too much bulk.

The 2.4GHz RF-based mouse uses laser tracking and still finds room for two side buttons as well as the usual three-button top layout. Microsoft is readying black and red versions of the Arc for later this month at a $60 price.

Microsoft has also taken to a low-key release of the Wireless Mobile Mouse 3000, a successor to the Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000; it comes in a new set of colors that include blue and purple and supplies a sharper optical sensor, a simple battery life indicator and the same USB mini receiver of the earlier device. It also arrives this month for $30.

Rounding out the releases are the two-megapixel LifeCam Show and 0.3-megapixel VX-5500; the two focus alternately on thinness and swappable color faceplates, and both have a new set of Apple Photo Booth-like live video effects for video chats as well as Video Messages that can provide the effect of a video chat without needing both participants online at the same time. Either has desktop and notebook attachments and can take still photos at an interpolated eight megapixels (Show) or 1.3 megapixels (VX-5500). These arrive in October and sell for $100 and $60 respectively.

Arc Mouse

LifeCam VX-5500

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Take 99999...

    ...looking at the number of various models of mice it amazes me that the senior MS execs don't just pack it in, cash in their shares, lay off their staff & leave design to those more able to resolve their decision making? But then what would they do with themselves?

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969




    That Arc Mouse is already out. I bought one this last weekend just this last weekend at Best Buy. It came in black and red (I got the black one).

    All in all, it's a nice mouse and has a good form factor. I'm a little disappointed with the signal strength as it cuts out - it's a home media PC that I use from my couch - but I'm not sure I can blame the mouse for that (the mouse I am replacing has the same problem - I think they all just have crappy range or handle interference poorly).

    - Jeff

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    WHAT? No Bluetooth?

    WHEN are these companies going to release Bluetooth mice instead of these RF things?

    Why waste a precious USB port, when my MacBook Pro already has built-in Bluetooth?

    Almost forgot ... that thing sure is ugly.

  1. Nemco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bluetooth is a must

    If it had Bluetooth I might have bought one, especially if it was available in white... I've got a white MS mouse already, but I really can't miss the usb port on my laptop, especially during cordless adventures. MS really needs to think about these things.

    Well at least this mouse is a sign of innovation imo... Seems lately they've been too busy copying Apple and telling their hardware manufactures how to design computers, rather than coming up with original stuff.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Did it ever occur to you they aren't making the mice specifically for Mac users? Not all computer manufacturers put bluetooth in as standard on their computers.

    Oh, and maybe if Apple added more USB ports to their laptops (or just use a USB hub like you always tell those who complain about a lack of USB ports), it wouldn't be a problem.

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