Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse: The humble pointer lives on

When Microsoft announced the simple Wireless Mobile Mouse 3000v2 back in July, many commentators, this very site included, were quick to point out the poor timing of such a device - it came just a day after Apple had unveiled the Magic Trackpad.

We joked that the mouse was dead and that touch gesture pads were the future.

Well, Microsoft's response has been swift and it's been effective. How could anybody fail to be impressed by its Arc Touch Mouse?

The Arc Touch is much more than a simple mouse. Not only does it lay flat for compactness when pressed (an action that also turns it off) it supports motion gestures such as flicking.

It's more of a hybrid mouse/trackpad if anything. It has capacitive sensing techniques and sensors on board so you can scroll quickly or slowly and there are also three tap buttons allowing you to browse pages up and down as well as a pre-programmable middle button for your own specific habits.

"Switching from a scroll wheel to a touch strip is made easier with haptics, a vibration technology that simulates the bumps users would feel while using a traditional scroll wheel", says Microsoft. 

"The Arc Touch Mouse is equipped with BlueTrack Technology, letting consumers track on virtually any surface, and a tiny magnetic snap-in Nano transceiver stores conveniently on the bottom of the mouse".

It all sounds pretty cool to us, we have to say. (If a mouse can, in fact, be classified as cool).

The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse should hit the shops in January 2011, and will cost $70-ish in the US. UK prices are yet to be confirmed.