Microsoft Intros Windows 7-Centric Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000

With Windows 7 released to manufacturing, Microsoft has but one thing to do during the run-up to the operating system's October 22nd launch date: produce Win7-centric accessories. The firm is starting that today with the introduction of the Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000, a keyboard and mouse combo that sports a slick, ergonomic look along with lots of tasteful Windows 7 features that early adopters will surely appreciate.

As you can see in the shot of the keyboard, Microsoft utilizes a Comfort Curve layout that encourages natural wrist posture with a slight six-degree curve, and there's also a soft-touch palm rest to keep those wrists comfortable during long typing/gaming sessions. As for the included Wireless Mouse 5000, you'll find rubber side grips and a.n ambidextrous shape for comfort in either hand. At a glance, the mouse doesn't seem all that exotic compared to rivals from Razer and the like, but again, this set was designed for the average user and not the hardcore gamer. Of note, it does feature the company's BlackTrack technology, which lets consumers go anywhere and work with confidence on more surfaces (like pants and marbel countertops) than when using optical and laser mice. Both devices wirelessly connect to the computer via a reliable 2.4GHz mini-transceiver (USB dongle) that works up to 30 feet away.

If you're wondering how this tandem will make your eventual Win7 experience better, there's a time-saving feature called Taskbar Favorites that gives Microsoft keyboard users an easy way to access their open programs. Instead of the traditional My Favorites Keys with stored locations, Taskbar Favorites will map to the location of open applications on the improved Windows taskbar. The icons in the taskbar can be easily rearranged just by clicking and dragging; Taskbar Favorites will instantly adapt to the new icon locations. Other Windows 7 integration features include these:

  • Device Stage. Microsoft Hardware mouse and keyboard products will support Device Stage, a Windows 7 feature that gives customers quick and easy access to common tasks, including product information, registration, settings and more for popular device categories such as cell phones, cameras, printers, portable media players and input devices.
  • Windows Flip. Microsoft mouse and keyboard users can easily see a thumbnail preview of all open windows with the press of a button. A full-screen preview of the application will automatically display, enabling the user to better identify and select the desired application.

The Wireless Comfort Desktop 5000 will be available later this month for $79.95, and it's available for pre-order right now at Amazon.