August 2, 2005 8:00 AM PDT

Apple's mouse goes Mighty

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July 26, 2005

The mouse that roared

September 18, 2003
Breaking with longstanding tradition, Apple Computer has introduced its first multibutton mouse for the Mac.

Dubbed Mighty Mouse, the new $49 pointer has a 360-degree scroll wheel and can be programmed to recognize a click on either the left or right side. For Apple purists, it can also act as a single-button mouse.

Multibutton mice have been standard on Windows PCs for years and even the Mac OS has long recognized a right click. However, the company has stuck by its single-button design, refining it and adding a Bluetooth wireless version, but maintaining only a single-click option.


David Moody, Apple's vice president of Mac product marketing, said the company waited until it was able to design a mouse that had the scrolling and multiple-button features but was still as simple to use as the one-click original.

"There's lots and lots of multibutton mice on the market but they come with some complexity," Moody said. "We just weren't willing to compromise on design or ease of use."

The design itself is similar to that of the current Mac mouse, with the white plastic case not immediately revealing itself to have multiple buttons. Touch sensors, rather than actual buttons, can detect a right or left click. As for the other changes, the small trackball peeks out the top, and two other, slightly grayish buttons can be squeezed on the side of the mouse. The side buttons can be programmed to get one-click access to 10.4.2 Tiger operating system features such as Spotlight and Dashboard, the company said.

Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with current CEO Steve Jobs, said he has been a fan of the most recent generation of Apple mice but hopes the new pointer will offer top-notch two-dimensional scrolling. "This new one is similarly styled so I'll be pleased regardless," he said in an e-mail interview.

Wozniak said he has appreciated the two-finger scrolling option on the Mac's latest trackpads, so he imagines he will like the scroll wheel. "But I'm in a normal user try-and-see mode," he said. "If they have it in the store yet maybe I'll pick one up."

Taking advantage of all of the features of the Mighty Mouse requires the latest version of Mac OS X Tiger, though it will work as a two-button scrolling mouse on older Mac versions, as well as Windows XP and Windows 2000.

The new mouse, which is of the USB-corded variety, debuted Tuesday and is available immediately. For now, it comes only as an add-on, though Apple could make the new Mighty Mouse a standard with future Macs.

A mouse has been standard fare with all desktop Macs since the original debuted in 1984. The earliest Mac mice were beige and had a single large button in the center. Around the time of the candy-colored iMacs, Apple added a round mouse that was quickly dubbed the "hockey puck" and drew criticism for being decidedly un-ergonomic.

In July 2000, Apple replaced the oft-criticized hockey puck mouse with the design that has shipped for the past five years--a clear and black mouse (later also clear and white) in which the whole mouse is pushed down to create a single click. Apple took the mouse wireless in September 2003, when it introduced a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

The history of the computer mouse dates back to the 1950s and an engineer named Doug Engelbart. The notion traveled through NASA and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center before ending up--very successfully--in Apple's hands.

For those who remember another Mighty Mouse, Apple did in fact license the name from Viacom Consumer Products, owner of the rights to the cartoon hero.

182 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Here's to you, Steve J!
The old guy is getting mighty feisty in his old age. And here's to
whoever wrote the ad copy for the MM on the Apple site. It's some
of the best I've ever seen! Go, Apple!
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mighty Mouse...
Lame Name :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
It is a copy from MS
This has been copied from Microsoft. LOL
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Link Flag
Here's to you, Steve J!
The old guy is getting mighty feisty in his old age. And here's to
whoever wrote the ad copy for the MM on the Apple site. It's some
of the best I've ever seen! Go, Apple!
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mighty Mouse...
Lame Name :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
It is a copy from MS
This has been copied from Microsoft. LOL
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Link Flag
Why is this a story?
I know that Apple has been notorious for one button mice, but c'mon, this isn't news worthy. Are we going to start having a story on every cool mouse innovation by Logitech or Microsoft? I hope not. And another thing, does anyone really use all these super fancy features on mice? I use the left and right mouse button and the scroll wheel. I never got into the press drag and twirl to open your media player, or double click, roll and jump up and down to open a new Word document.
Posted by tsm26 (81 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's why, Trent
Lots of people thought that hell would freeze over before Apple
announced they had a more-than-one-button mouse. Well, they
were right. Hell froze over when Apple announced the switch to
Intel processors. This Mighty Mouse news is like announcing that
the devil has taken up hockey!
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Link Flag
actually
this type of mouse is pretty useful when using it with mac os x and
it should enable people to be more productive with their apps. the
diagonal button seems pretty cool for browsing web pages on a low
res screen.
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
Not enough buttons! Or x,y, z...
"Apple Computer, the company that helped popularize the
mouse, gives more powers to its newest device, Mighty Mouse"

I can hear the Apple haters now: "not enough buttons" (or
x,y,z...)
(four, two are touch sensitive).

I wonder what this will enable in Apple's Intel based "Leopard"
OS, due around the time Windows XP3 is due, maybe.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Link Flag
It's news since it will affect PC's for years to come.
It's another Apple breakthrough, something that will be copied in years to come by PC Vendors. It's pretty doubtful they'll get all the rich features of this purely simply but highly complex mouse, but they will try.

So it's news since it will filter down to the PC community.

Looks like Apple took the innovative technology of the iPod and was the first to apply it to a Mouse.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/specs.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/specs.html</a>

PS: On a Mac, the Mouse actually "works with" the OS. So your problems of using this level of mice is related to Windows or Linux not supporting a quality mouse experience, not the mouse itself.

Get a Mac and you'll see what all the excitement is about.
Posted by OS11 (844 comments )
Link Flag
Beware HP/Dell ...
Just another step by the Mac maker towards being able to provide fully functional WinTel machine. My bet is that in ~ 6 months time Apple will start selling computers targeting the windows world. A tremendous new player is on way to this market!
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Why is this a story?
I know that Apple has been notorious for one button mice, but c'mon, this isn't news worthy. Are we going to start having a story on every cool mouse innovation by Logitech or Microsoft? I hope not. And another thing, does anyone really use all these super fancy features on mice? I use the left and right mouse button and the scroll wheel. I never got into the press drag and twirl to open your media player, or double click, roll and jump up and down to open a new Word document.
Posted by tsm26 (81 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's why, Trent
Lots of people thought that hell would freeze over before Apple
announced they had a more-than-one-button mouse. Well, they
were right. Hell froze over when Apple announced the switch to
Intel processors. This Mighty Mouse news is like announcing that
the devil has taken up hockey!
Posted by Norseman (1319 comments )
Link Flag
actually
this type of mouse is pretty useful when using it with mac os x and
it should enable people to be more productive with their apps. the
diagonal button seems pretty cool for browsing web pages on a low
res screen.
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
Not enough buttons! Or x,y, z...
"Apple Computer, the company that helped popularize the
mouse, gives more powers to its newest device, Mighty Mouse"

I can hear the Apple haters now: "not enough buttons" (or
x,y,z...)
(four, two are touch sensitive).

I wonder what this will enable in Apple's Intel based "Leopard"
OS, due around the time Windows XP3 is due, maybe.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Link Flag
It's news since it will affect PC's for years to come.
It's another Apple breakthrough, something that will be copied in years to come by PC Vendors. It's pretty doubtful they'll get all the rich features of this purely simply but highly complex mouse, but they will try.

So it's news since it will filter down to the PC community.

Looks like Apple took the innovative technology of the iPod and was the first to apply it to a Mouse.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/specs.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/mightymouse/specs.html</a>

PS: On a Mac, the Mouse actually "works with" the OS. So your problems of using this level of mice is related to Windows or Linux not supporting a quality mouse experience, not the mouse itself.

Get a Mac and you'll see what all the excitement is about.
Posted by OS11 (844 comments )
Link Flag
Beware HP/Dell ...
Just another step by the Mac maker towards being able to provide fully functional WinTel machine. My bet is that in ~ 6 months time Apple will start selling computers targeting the windows world. A tremendous new player is on way to this market!
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Where are buttons 3 and 4
I only see the scroll wheel and buttons 1 and 2 on each side...
Posted by wazzledoozle (288 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They're on top of the mouse
From the story: Two of the buttons are actually programmable touch sensors. People can click the upper right or left side of the mouse to access features like menus in Mac OS X and other applications.
Posted by Jon Skillings (249 comments )
Link Flag
Side and scroll ball...
From Apple's website, you can squeeze the center of the mouse for a 3rd button, and click the scroll ball for a 4th button.
Posted by brasten (33 comments )
Link Flag
Where are buttons 3 and 4
I only see the scroll wheel and buttons 1 and 2 on each side...
Posted by wazzledoozle (288 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They're on top of the mouse
From the story: Two of the buttons are actually programmable touch sensors. People can click the upper right or left side of the mouse to access features like menus in Mac OS X and other applications.
Posted by Jon Skillings (249 comments )
Link Flag
Side and scroll ball...
From Apple's website, you can squeeze the center of the mouse for a 3rd button, and click the scroll ball for a 4th button.
Posted by brasten (33 comments )
Link Flag
...
they are touch sensitive
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
.....
sorry touch sensitive on the sides of the mouse. check out
www.apple.com
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
...
they are touch sensitive
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Reply Link Flag
.....
sorry touch sensitive on the sides of the mouse. check out
www.apple.com
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
Synaptics Technology?
Nice idea, it looks like they borrowed the tech from the Ipod's touch wheel. But the mouse doesn't look all that ergonomic.
Posted by (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's a little more than the iPod touch-wheel
You can rest your fingers on the Mighty Mouse without activating
clicks. These virtual buttons are pressure sensitive, and the clicks
are only triggered when you apply some level of pressure.
Posted by (31 comments )
Link Flag
Synaptics Technology?
Nice idea, it looks like they borrowed the tech from the Ipod's touch wheel. But the mouse doesn't look all that ergonomic.
Posted by (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's a little more than the iPod touch-wheel
You can rest your fingers on the Mighty Mouse without activating
clicks. These virtual buttons are pressure sensitive, and the clicks
are only triggered when you apply some level of pressure.
Posted by (31 comments )
Link Flag
What for?
I've been using an USB mouse - yes, from Microsoft - for years on a Mac. Who needs "permission" from Steve Jobs to use a multi-button mouse?
Posted by aemarques (162 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A little touchy?
Nobody needs "permission."

Apple just decided to make and sell a multi-button mouse now, which goes against many many years of tradition to the contrary...
Posted by brasten (33 comments )
Link Flag
It's For Steve Jobs' Wallet, You Stupid
He needs to make a living, you know :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
What for?
I've been using an USB mouse - yes, from Microsoft - for years on a Mac. Who needs "permission" from Steve Jobs to use a multi-button mouse?
Posted by aemarques (162 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A little touchy?
Nobody needs "permission."

Apple just decided to make and sell a multi-button mouse now, which goes against many many years of tradition to the contrary...
Posted by brasten (33 comments )
Link Flag
It's For Steve Jobs' Wallet, You Stupid
He needs to make a living, you know :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
I for one
appreciate this story. There aren't that many decent input
devices around, I use Logitech's Marble Mouse.

Mighty Mouse has a feature set that is different from any other
mouse, so it is innovative. And it sure looks cool.
Posted by Tui Pohutukawa (366 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I for one
appreciate this story. There aren't that many decent input
devices around, I use Logitech's Marble Mouse.

Mighty Mouse has a feature set that is different from any other
mouse, so it is innovative. And it sure looks cool.
Posted by Tui Pohutukawa (366 comments )
Reply Link Flag
AMAZING!!
Apple certainly is on the forefront of new and innovative technology! Imagine... a multi-button mouse with a scroll wheel!! :O

How long will it be before the PC industry "steals" this amazing new idea?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
don't
be an ass, it is a unique design that keeps things minimalist while
still having a lot of functionality and you could always use a 3
button mouse with scroll wheel on mac.
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
I'm up to my elbows in innovation!
Or is it something else good ol' Steve's shoveling our way?

Who's stealing from whom, zealots?
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
:)
Your are so bad!
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Link Flag
Apple is Stealing Other's Ideas
Hi Mac Fanboy, I really can't call a mouse with more buttons an "innovation" :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
AMAZING!!
Apple certainly is on the forefront of new and innovative technology! Imagine... a multi-button mouse with a scroll wheel!! :O

How long will it be before the PC industry "steals" this amazing new idea?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
don't
be an ass, it is a unique design that keeps things minimalist while
still having a lot of functionality and you could always use a 3
button mouse with scroll wheel on mac.
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
I'm up to my elbows in innovation!
Or is it something else good ol' Steve's shoveling our way?

Who's stealing from whom, zealots?
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
:)
Your are so bad!
Posted by Sboston (498 comments )
Link Flag
Apple is Stealing Other's Ideas
Hi Mac Fanboy, I really can't call a mouse with more buttons an "innovation" :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Bluetooth???
Apple has bluetooth now on the iBooks, Powerbooks and (add-on) G5 towers.
Apple has a Bluetooth Keyboard.
What about making this Mighty Meese bluetooth-enabled?

I am tired op Apple touting innovation when its so far behind in pleasing its customers. Its more like, "you WILL like this and use it, versus, what can we make to make your computing simpler and more efficient".

(bet some mac zealot complains I'm knockin Steve 'oh!)
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well
Well consider that this design is new and is using not one but two new techonologys never used before in a mouse.

If I were working for Apple Id want to make it corded at first to minimize the risk of it shipping with problems and ruining the demand.

Then Id start work on a wireless version for the next release.

The KISS principle is still in effect, even though most developers and engineers today seem to have forgotten it. Make it simple and functional first, then start thinking about how to improve the design further.
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
Link Flag
as
far as i'm aware you can use any other mouse with your mac so he
isn't forcing you to use an apple one
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
Customer Satisfaction
"I am tired op Apple touting innovation when its so far behind in
pleasing its customers. "

Excuse me? Check PC World's article, "Apple Tops In Customer
Satisfaction" at this link:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,117530,00.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,117530,00.asp</a>
Posted by Greg Sparkman (82 comments )
Link Flag
Bluetooth???
Apple has bluetooth now on the iBooks, Powerbooks and (add-on) G5 towers.
Apple has a Bluetooth Keyboard.
What about making this Mighty Meese bluetooth-enabled?

I am tired op Apple touting innovation when its so far behind in pleasing its customers. Its more like, "you WILL like this and use it, versus, what can we make to make your computing simpler and more efficient".

(bet some mac zealot complains I'm knockin Steve 'oh!)
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well
Well consider that this design is new and is using not one but two new techonologys never used before in a mouse.

If I were working for Apple Id want to make it corded at first to minimize the risk of it shipping with problems and ruining the demand.

Then Id start work on a wireless version for the next release.

The KISS principle is still in effect, even though most developers and engineers today seem to have forgotten it. Make it simple and functional first, then start thinking about how to improve the design further.
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
Link Flag
as
far as i'm aware you can use any other mouse with your mac so he
isn't forcing you to use an apple one
Posted by Filip Remplakowski (91 comments )
Link Flag
Customer Satisfaction
"I am tired op Apple touting innovation when its so far behind in
pleasing its customers. "

Excuse me? Check PC World's article, "Apple Tops In Customer
Satisfaction" at this link:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,117530,00.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,117530,00.asp</a>
Posted by Greg Sparkman (82 comments )
Link Flag
Love it, but...
First I must say that it makes me regret buying a wireless media
keyboard from Microsoft. I am a mac fanatic, and if this where
to be out at the time when I was looking, I would have gotten it
in a heartbeat, EXCEPT for the fact that now they just need to
come out with a media keyboard and a mouse with more
buttons. I find it extremely more convenient to change my
itunes songs by a Forward or Backward buttons on my wireless
mouse. And not only that,but I can control everything I need
with only my keyboard, and from many feet away. Huge
congrats to Apple for making this one, and hope there can be an
upgraded model soon!
Posted by (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Check out this keyboard
This is my next keyboard...

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.artlebedev.com/portfolio/optimus/" target="_newWindow">http://www.artlebedev.com/portfolio/optimus/</a>
Posted by Greg Sparkman (82 comments )
Link Flag
Love it, but...
First I must say that it makes me regret buying a wireless media
keyboard from Microsoft. I am a mac fanatic, and if this where
to be out at the time when I was looking, I would have gotten it
in a heartbeat, EXCEPT for the fact that now they just need to
come out with a media keyboard and a mouse with more
buttons. I find it extremely more convenient to change my
itunes songs by a Forward or Backward buttons on my wireless
mouse. And not only that,but I can control everything I need
with only my keyboard, and from many feet away. Huge
congrats to Apple for making this one, and hope there can be an
upgraded model soon!
Posted by (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Check out this keyboard
This is my next keyboard...

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.artlebedev.com/portfolio/optimus/" target="_newWindow">http://www.artlebedev.com/portfolio/optimus/</a>
Posted by Greg Sparkman (82 comments )
Link Flag
As expected...
Keyboards with more keys for shortcuts. Handheld devices with more face keys. Mouse with more buttons. Unstoppable progress...
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I Am Glad Mr. Jobs Decides to Move Forward
I think he finally realize how stupid it is to have only one button on the mouse :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
As expected...
Keyboards with more keys for shortcuts. Handheld devices with more face keys. Mouse with more buttons. Unstoppable progress...
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I Am Glad Mr. Jobs Decides to Move Forward
I think he finally realize how stupid it is to have only one button on the mouse :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Apple's innovation
This is Apple innovation?
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No
This is Apple's copycat (or shoild I say copyMOUSE?)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Apple's innovation
This is Apple innovation?
Posted by TanNg (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No
This is Apple's copycat (or shoild I say copyMOUSE?)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Friggin' Wicked Friggin' Cool
Further evidence that Apple is the leader of innovation in an
otherwise stale, "follow the leader" PC industry.

Way to go - again!
Posted by cjohn17 (268 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Way to Go Apple!
I am so glad that Apple finally decides to follow PC's steps and create a mouse with more than one button :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
 

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