IntelliMouse

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IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0
Microsoft IntelliEye mouse
Microsoft IntelliEye mouse

IntelliMouse is a series of computer mice from Microsoft. The IntelliMouse series is credited with a number of innovations,[1] for example, Microsoft was among the first mouse vendors to introduce a scroll wheel,[2] an optical mouse, and dedicated auxiliary buttons on the side of the mouse. They use IntelliPoint drivers and its main competitor through the years has been Logitech.

History[edit]

The original IntelliMouse was introduced on July 22, 1996, with its stand-out feature being a scroll wheel.[3] Its design was based on that of the Microsoft Mouse 2.0 from 1993.

In November 1997 Microsoft released the IntelliMouse TrackBall, using a finger-operated trackball to control the cursor and featuring the signature IntelliMouse scroll wheel.[4] In May 1998 the IntelliMouse Pro was released, a redesign of the original IntelliMouse that featured an asymmetrical shape (intended for right-hand use) with a more pronounced arch profile.[5]

The IntelliMouse Explorer was introduced on April 19, 1999, at COMDEX. This version featured IntelliEye optical tracking technology, eliminating the need for a mouse ball or mousepad.[6] It had five buttons (two on top, a scroll wheel that could be depressed, and two on the left side of the mouse).[6][7] It was asymmetrical and designed for right-handed users.[7] Microsoft called it the "most radical computer mouse technology and design advancement" since computer mice were introduced in the 1960s.[6] The Explorer was finished in silver, and featured a glowing red "taillight" to emphasize its optical sensor.[8] In May, the IntelliMouse Explorer was exhibited at E3 1999, touting the benefits of its optical sensor for accuracy and reliability.[9] It was released on October 4, 1999.[10] In 2005, PC World named the IntelliMouse Explorer to its list of "The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years" as the first mainstream optical mouse.[11]

The IntelliMouse Optical was announced in January 2000 ahead of its April release. The IntelliMouse Optical had similar styling and features as the 1999 IntelliMouse Explorer, but used a symmetric, ambidextrous design to accommodate use by the left hand.[12] It had five buttons – two on top, the scroll wheel, and one on each side of the mouse.[7] The optical sensor and the plug-and-play USB connection led Microsoft to tout the IntelliMouse Optical as an ideal travel companion for laptop users.[13] The IntelliMouse Optical received an Industrial Design Excellence Award in 2001, and was included in the "Workspheres" exhibit held at the New York MoMA in 2001.[14]

New versions of the IntelliMouse Explorer and Optical were introduced in September 2001 alongside the first wireless variant, the Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer.[15] While the original IntelliEye sensor sampled images at 1500 frames per second (fps),[6] the new version sampled images at 6000 fps. In addition, finger grooves and an enhanced grip were added to the new IntelliMouse Explorer.[15]

The Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth was released in 2002, both as a separate product and with a wireless keyboard in the Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth bundle.[16] Updated versions of the IntelliMouse Explorer and Wireless Explorer were released in September 2003, featuring a tilting scroll wheel to enable horizontal scrolling; the new mice were also available in a variety of colors.[17] Two additional finishes, Cobalt Basin and Crimson Fire, were released for the Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer in July 2004.[18] The IntelliMouse Explorer was later discontinued, then re-released as the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 in August 2006 with a gaming emphasis, using a 9000 fps sensor.[19][20]

On October 17, 2017, Microsoft revived the series with the new Classic IntelliMouse, featuring a new dark look based on the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 design and featuring BlueTrack technology, allowing it to be used on glass surfaces.[21][22] The Classic IntelliMouse was released in June 2018 in the UK.[23]

In May 2019, Microsoft announced the Pro IntelliMouse, which put an upgraded sensor in the Classic IntelliMouse body.[24]

Microsoft IntelliMouse pointing devices
Name Image Intro. Disc. Buttons Optical USB Serial Notes Refs.
IntelliMouse 1996 3 opt.[a] opt.[b] PS/2 or 9-pin First use of the IntelliMouse brand [27]
IntelliMouse Trackball 1997 2002 3 No No PS/2 or 9-pin Only IntelliMouse-branded trackball [28]
IntelliMouse Pro 1998 2001 3 No No PS/2 or 9-pin Intended to improve ergonomics with a refined shape and rubber side grips. [29]
IntelliMouse Explorer 1999 5 Yes Yes PS/2 Also adds two left side buttons (for right hand thumb). Upgraded from 1500 to 6000 fps sensor in 2001. [30] [31]
IntelliMouse Optical 2000 5 Yes Yes PS/2 Two side buttons, one on each side (ambidextrous). Upgraded from 1500 to 6000 fps sensor in 2001. [32] [33]
Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2001 5 Yes Yes No 6000 fps sensor; automatically adjusts illumination based on surface. Bluetooth version added in 2002. [34] [35]
Notes
  1. ^ A version with IntelliEye was later released.[25]
  2. ^ A dedicated USB version was later released.[26]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Miller, Paul (July 18, 2012). "Status Symbols: Microsoft IntelliMouse". The Verge. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  2. ^ Note however: "Mouse Systems ProAgio Scroll Mouse". oldmouse.com. Retrieved 2013-08-15. In 1995 Mouse Systems, owned by KYE since 1990, produced the world's first mouse with a scroll wheel. It sold as Mouse Systems ProAgio and Genius EasyScroll under Kye. [...] Microsoft seized the idea and marketed the concept as part of their IntelliMouse® in 1996.
  3. ^ "Microsoft announces Microsoft IntelliMouse" (Press release). Microsoft. 22 July 1996. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Microsoft Announces Availability of IntelliMouse TrackBall" (Press release). Microsoft. November 14, 1997. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Microsoft unveils Its Most Full-Fetaured Mouse Ever; Wheel-Equipped IntelliMouse Pro Offers Outstanding Comfort" (Press release). Microsoft. May 28, 1998. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "Microsoft's Sleek New IntelliMouse Explorer and IntelliEye Technology Toss Out the Mouse Ball Today at COMDEX" (Press release). Microsoft. 19 April 1999. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Waring, Becky (30 March 2000). "Microsoft builds a magical mouse / new buttons, scroll wheel and no gummy ball". SFGate. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Microsoft Unveils Sleek, Innovative New Mouse" (Press release). Microsoft. April 19, 1999. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Microsoft SideWinder Devices Make PC Games More Fun" (Press release). Microsoft. May 10, 1999. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  10. ^ "Microsoft announces availability of IntelliMouse Explorer" (Press release). Microsoft. 4 October 1999. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  11. ^ Tynan, Dan (December 24, 2005). "The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years". PC World. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Microsoft Lends a Hand to Lefties With Launch of First Ambidextrous Optical Mouse" (Press release). Microsoft. January 6, 2000. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical Helps Boost Productivity for Laptop Users" (Press release). Microsoft. April 3, 2000. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Design Industry Leaders Honor the Art Behind Microsoft Hardware Designs" (Press release). Microsoft. October 29, 2001. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  15. ^ a b "New Microsoft Mouse Family Unleashes Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer" (Press release). Microsoft. September 25, 2001. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Microsoft Makes History, Delivers Unprecedented Wireless Freedom With New Desktop Hardware Solution for Bluetooth" (Press release). Microsoft. October 15, 2002. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Microsoft Hardware Puts New Spin on Innovation" (Press release). Microsoft. September 3, 2003. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Microsoft and Philippe Starck Unite to Create Performance Art" (Press release). Microsoft. July 8, 2004. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  19. ^ "Microsoft on Top of Its Game With Launch of Exciting New Gaming Peripherals" (Press release). Microsoft. August 22, 2006. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  20. ^ jatkinson (September 22, 2006). "The Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0–Review". ExtremeTech. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  21. ^ Warren, Tom (October 17, 2017). "Microsoft is bringing the IntelliMouse Explorer back". The Verge. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  22. ^ Lopez, Napier (October 27, 2017). "Microsoft is selling the IntelliMouse Explorer again, but screws up the sensor choice". The Next Web. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Iconic mouse that changed how we use the internet is relaunched by Microsoft" (Press release). Microsoft UK. June 29, 2018. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  24. ^ Lovelin, Eric (May 28, 2019). "Announcing the Microsoft Pro Intellimouse" (Press release). Microsoft | Windows Blogs. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse with IntelliEye". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 5 June 2001.
  26. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse (USB compatible)". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 24 April 1999.
  27. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 20 January 1998.
  28. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse Trackball". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 20 January 1998.
  29. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse Pro". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 17 April 1999.
  30. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 8 April 2000.
  31. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 21 February 2002.
  32. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 10 May 2000.
  33. ^ "Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 14 December 2001.
  34. ^ "Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Optical". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 8 October 2001.
  35. ^ "Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Optical for Bluetooth". Microsoft. Archived from the original on 22 December 2002.