Microsoft on Thursday announced a new wireless mouse aimed at the burgeoning Netbook market.
The Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000, which goes on sale in August, comes in a bunch of colors and has a small USB transmitter that sticks out less than a centimeter from the computer. Microsoft argues that means the mouse transmitter can remain plugged in all the time, of course that assumes that the Netbook has enough USB ports that one can be dedicated to a mouse.
The thing that really struck me is that, at $40, the mouse costs more than the revenue Microsoft gets from selling Windows XP on the same Netbook. (Of course, once you throw in the retailer's cut, the manufacturing cost and other things, Microsoft makes way more profit from that copy of Windows XP.)
Still, it's a good way for Microsoft to try to make up for the fact that it generally makes less from Netbooks and that this is the only part of the PC market that is growing. Microsoft's press release touts market research predicting 35 million of the diminutive portables will be sold this year.
I would also note that in its excitement over the Netbook business, the hardware unit appears not to have gotten the message that the Windows folks would prefer these things be referred to as small notebook PCs.