Microsoft's Classic Intellimouse updates 2003's iconic mouse for the modern era

Microsoft faces a ton of competition, but the low $40 price makes it worth a look.

Fans of the classic Microsoft Intellimouse 3.0 from 2003 can now buy an updated version, which, Microsoft has promised, is true to the spirit of the original.

In fact, Simon Dearsley, Devices Design Director at Microsoft, said this week that some of the components in the new Classic Intellimouse remain the same as those in the original Intellimouse 3.0, its inspiration. The key improvements are in the switch and tracking technology, updating the components for the modern era.

"We’ve reached a point where tracking and switch technology and price has matured immensely," Dearsley said. "We saw this as an opportunity to improve on an icon by updating it with modern technology."

Microsoft classic intellimouse side Microsoft

The Classic Intellimouse favors righties, and includes the traditional wired "tail". The original red light at its base has been updated to a purer white light, Microsoft said.

The Microsoft Classic Intellimouse is priced at $40. The BlueTrack sensor reports mouse movements up to 1,000 times per second, with a dpi (dots per inch) setting up to 3,200. That gives it the same precision as the Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse, Microsoft's other recent peripheral. 

Unlike the Surface Precision Mouse, however, the Classic Intellimouse is wired, reducing the latency for gameplay. It's largely ambidextrous, though only right-handers will be able to take advantage of the two side-mounted buttons. (The scroll wheel functions as a middle button.)

There's a small catch: Though the new Intellimouse works with all flavors of Windows dating back to Windows 7, it doesn't work with Mac OS. Microsoft's Mouse and Keyboard Center software, which allows the buttons to be configured, isn't available for Windows 10 S.

Microsoft's original Intellimouse arrived at a time when designers and gamers alike were becoming more interested in differentiated, more accurate mice. Though it was itself based on the Microsoft Mouse 2.0, it added something new: a scroll wheel. Today, according to Dearsley, most of the world's mice are patterned off the original Intellimouse.

According to Dearsley, Microsoft kept the Omron switches for the left and right click buttons, but added three Kailh switches for the middle wheel button and side buttons. Under the hood, the mouse has been reworked to make it more rigid, he said.

What this means for you: Since the release of the original Intellimouse, the evolution of the mouse into a true gaming peripheral has exploded. The Classic Intellimouse, then, is probably just a novelty. However, given the relatively low price, it might be worth taking it for a spin next time you're near a Microsoft store.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?