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Microsoft Debuts New Mac Hardware

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-30

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It's not an UMPC designed to run OS X, but a newly designed keyboard and mouse for the stylishly designed Macintosh computer line.

Microsoft and the PC have long served as a counterpoint to Apple and the Macintosh aesthetic.

Even the companies' CEOs rest on opposite ends of the fashion curve, though it could be said that Steve Jobs cheats by wearing the same clothes all the time. (Although he did change his shoes, rumor has it.)

Now Microsoft will try to do what Apple has done for years: compute and look good doing it.

The Wireless Laser Desktop for Mac has been laid out with the familiar Mac keyboard setup (no Windows Start key here) and Microsoft's Comfort Curve Keyboard design. A wireless High Definition laser mouse comes with the set.

The keyboard has the ability to map Hot Keys to Mac applications, so users can fire up iTunes with one button.

There is also an Eject key to eject discs from the drive. Microsoft noted the Desktop for Mac will work with PowerPC or Intel-based Macintosh computers.

A Zoom Slider on the keyboard provides an easy way to bring images and documents in for a closer look. Moving the slider up or down zooms in and out on the item.

The My Favorites keys work like a car stereo's controls; when viewing a webpage, holding one of the five My Favorites keys down will assign it to that page.

Apple's more zealous anti-Microsoft fans who may discount the Wireless Laser Desktop out of hand may wish to reconsider.

The High Definition laser mouse uses Microsoft's Tilt Wheel technology, which can be addictive in itself with its vertical and horizontal scrolling.

For control, Microsoft said mice are equipped with the Intelligent Tracking System for smoother tracking, 1,000 dots per inch for more responsiveness and 6,000 frames per second for better precision.

General availability of the new Desktop should happen in June, with a suggested price of $99.95 for the set.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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