Microsoft developing keyboard for Vista, Windows Live

Microsoft Corp.'s hardware division is developing a keyboard that will for easier access to Windows Live services and features in Windows Vista.

Microsoft's hardware division is developing a slim wireless keyboard that will make it easier for users to access Windows Live services and features in its Windows Vista OS.

Dubbed the Ultimate Keyboard, it will be announced later this year as part of a desktop package, said a source familiar with Microsoft's plans. The system will come with a wireless laser mouse, the source said.

A Windows Live Call button will provide one-touch access to a list of Windows Live Messenger buddies online to initiate a videoconference or chat session. Pressing the button will automatically log a user into Windows Live Messenger and open a list of contacts currently online.

A Gadgets button will provide similar access to Gadgets in Windows Vista, mini-applications that appear on the computer screen to display things such as news, sports and weather information.

The ergonomic keyboard includes a round button at the bottom -- below the space bar -- that initiates the Start menu of Vista or Windows XP, the source said. It supersedes the Start menu buttons traditionally found next to Alt buttons on a keyboard.

Ultimate Keyboard's keys will be backlit, and their illumination will be adjusted based on surrounding light and proximity of users, the source said. The keys will light up if the room is dark or if a user is close by.

A dock will be included with the desktop package to charge the keyboard and mouse simultaneously from a computer's USB (Universal Serial Bus) port. The keyboard and mouse will come with built-in batteries. The cordless keyboard and mouse will communicate wirelessly with a computer within a 30-foot range using Bluetooth technology.

Microsoft is developing a stable of hardware products to promote the use of Windows Live services. Last month it launched two videoconferencing webcams, LifeCam VX-6000 and LifeCam VX-3000, to ease videoconferencing with Windows Live Messenger and create photo blog entries on Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces community site.

An online teaser for the keyboard can be found online here: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/ultimatekeyboard/default.mspx.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?