Just as everybody else has been falling over each other to fondle the forthcoming Touch Mouse from Microsoft, Pocket-lint spied a far more interesting product lurking in an unsuspecting corner of the software giant's London Christmas in July event: The Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse.
Sitting between the the Touch Mouse and the Arc Touch Mouse in the company's range, the Explorer Touch Mouse is mostly interesting as neither we nor, seemingly, anybody else knew about it previously. And, apart from a small demonstration by a Microsoft employee, the company wasn't really making much of a fanfare about it either.
If you don't believe us, go and Google "Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse" or "Explorer Touch Mouse". Save for a few retailers who have listed something with a similar name (but with no pics) there's little else. No information, no specifications and no pricing. Weird.
However, thanks to its debut at the event, and a little fiddle by a Pocket-linter, we can rectify that... mostly.
The device comes with the company's proprietary BlueTrack Technology, allowing it to read and track its positioning on pretty much any surface - including the leg of a pair of jeans (as we discovered). It has five customisable buttons, which can be configured for right or left-hand use, and borrows the same kind of haptic touch scroll pad as the Arc Touch, which lightly vibrates in use so that you can feel what you're doing (you can also turn the feedback function off, if it freaks you out).
We presume the Explorer tag comes from its body shape being similar to the company's former non-touch Explorer Mouse, and a small factory-paired USB receiver clicks into the mouse's undercarriage when not in use in order to keep it safe when travelling.
The Microsoft staffer also told us that it is expected to hit the shops around the end of July, and it'll cost £69.99 (the same estimated retail price as the Arc Touch Mouse itself).