Microsoft gets touchy feely

Microsoft has introduced a range of keyboards and mice plus biometric fingerprint readers that let users scan a finger instead of entering log-in names and passwords when accessing online services or logging on to a PC.

The fingerprint reader, part of Microsoft's annual keyboard and mice product line refresh, will be available for $99.95 individually or for $199.95 integrated in the wired keyboard bundled with the Optical Desktop mouse package (pictured). Elsewhere, the new $149.95 Wireless Optical Desktop Comfort Edition features a gently-curved keyboard with keys placed at a six-degree angle to promote a more natural hand and wrist alignment, while offering the same layout as a traditional keyboard. Also featuring a mouse, it's offered as an option for those who want more comfort, but don't like the split of the original Natural keyboard.

For mobile users, Microsoft introduced the $69.95 Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse. This first Microsoft mouse designed for notebook users on the go includes a small receiver that plugs into a USB port and snaps into the bottom of the mouse for storage.

The new hardware line-up also includes an updated Bluetooth offering. The $299 Optical Desktop Elite and $149.95 IntelliMouse Explorer for Bluetooth now feature a tilting mouse wheel for horizontal scrolling, plus longer battery life and other enhancements.

On the lower end, Microsoft has updated its basic $59.95 Standard Wireless Optical Mouse and introduced a new $59.95 keyboard called the Digital Media Pro, for digital media users. Microsoft has also teamed up with designer Philippe Starck to produce the eye catching $59.95 Optical Mouse by S+ARCK.

Microsoft Optical Desktop with Fingerprint Reader

Price: $199.95 Vendor: Microsoft Phone: 13 2058 URL:

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Joris Evers

IDG News Service
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