A look back at the first Microsoft mouse released almost 40 years ago


Microsoft Mouse

This week, Microsoft announced the true end of an era for the company. It revealed that it would no longer make or sell any of its Microsoft-branded mice, keyboards, or webcams. Instead, any future PC accessories from the company will be sold under its Surface brand.

Ironically, this announcement was made almost 40 years before the Microsoft mouse went on sale. It happened on May 2, 1983, and it would be the first of many, many PC mice of all different designs from Microsoft.

The Microsoft hardware division was officially formed a year earlier in 1982, when the company began selling the Z80 Softcard add-in card for the Apple II in 1980. Mouse products for IBM-based personal computers. Microsoft decided it wanted to enter this small but growing market as well.

Microsoft Mouse

When the mouse was first released on May 2, 1983, it sold for $195. That was a huge expense for PC equipment back then, and today that price would be more than enough to get a very fancy wireless gaming mouse. Logitech or Razor.

With its distinctive pair of green buttons, it’s no wonder the first Microsoft mouse earned the nickname “The Green-Eyed Monster.” There was no “plug and play” USB connection. This first mouse product from Microsoft had an InPort ISA interface that also required a Microsoft bus card inside the PC. It used a steel ball for its sensor and had a slightly curved design that made it fit more comfortably in the hand than other mouse products that looked like the owner had one. Moving the brick around. Of course, you can also see the cool Microsoft logo above the mouse.

Microsoft Mouse Software

While the mouse first went on sale in May 1983, the accessory was later bundled with the first version of Microsoft Word, which launched just a few months later in September 1983 (and you can bet (That we will write about this 40th anniversary when the time comes.) Toasty Tech Here is some more information about the software that comes with the mouse. It contained “PIANO.EXE”, a virtual piano program. A drawing program with “DOODLE.EXE”.

Other applications that were previously included with Microsoft Mouse were the DOS version of Notepad. There was also “LIFE.EXE”. No, it wasn’t a classic board game, but a game that tried to simulate the growth and development of microorganisms.

Microsoft Mouse Manual

If you want to know, you can download the PDF. of the original printed manual for the first Microsoft mouse on the company’s website. It’s actually an interesting read and a real look at PC technology 40 years ago. You can also download mouse software. Bundled with Microsoft Word for DOS.

Microsoft Gray Eyed Mouse

Even with the inclusion of Word software with a mouse, Microsoft’s first PC accessory product did not sell very well. This Day in Tech History Says Microsoft originally made 100,000 units of the original mouse, but only sold 5,000 of them.

It would replace the second version of the Microsoft Mouse released in 1985, before the company began discontinuing mouse products. This second mouse developed the curved design of the original but ditched the typical green buttons for gray ones. The company would continue to develop its PC mouse products over the decades, including products like this one Intellimousethe Arch Mouseand more.

Microsoft’s PC hardware business now appears to be at a crossroads with this week’s announcement that it will no longer offer new devices under the Microsoft brand. Level distribution continues. Sell ​​a version of ArcMouse.. However, it remains to be seen if that part of Microsoft is interested in creating a new mouse device designed to work with all PCs.

Of course, there is also a lot of competition from other companies that are more willing to innovate and develop the PC mouse. However, it would be a shame if Microsoft, one of the true pioneers in this market, went quietly.

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