Microsoft is best known as a successful software company, but they’ve also worked to make themselves known as a hardware company. Microsoft’s Hardware group was established in 1982 which means that they are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. Because of this, we thought it was a perfect time to take a look at all of the different hardware options that they offer and how they’ve made a difference in the world of peripherals through keyboards, mice, Internet communication devices, and more.
Among the hardware that Microsoft has available under the Internet Communications category are webcams and headsets optimized for Windows Live Messenger. The newest LifeCam (webcam) is the VX-7000. Features include:
- 2.0 Megapixel Sensor
- Universal Attachment Base
- Built-in Microphone
- Crystal-clear Audio
- Glass Element lens
Aside from Webcams, Microsoft also offers their own line of LifeChat headsets. While the two options that they offer aren’t “top of the line,” the LifeChat ZX-6000 would be perfect for calls made with Windows Live Messenger. Its best feature is that it’s wireless. Features include:
- Digital speaker
- Nose-canceling Microphone
- Padded Ear Cup and adjustable earband
- Optimized for Windows Live Messenger
- Wireless Headset
–Mouse & Keyboard–
Most of you are probably aware that Microsoft offers all kinds of mice and keyboards to fit your needs. They’ve got everything from rechargeable mice like the Wireless Laser Mouse 8000 to Bluetooth enabled keyboards like the Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 which is one of Microsoft’s newest offerings. It includes the keyboard and a rechargeable mouse. Features include:
- 2.4 GHz Bluetooth Technology
- Navigation pad
- 4 USB Ports
- Ultra-thin comfort curve design
Obviously we know that Microsoft’s most prized possession in the gaming category would be the Xbox 360. Aside from the console itself and the controllers, they also have products for PC gamers. Those products include gaming keyboards and gaming mice. The gaming keyboard that they offer includes features that gamers would love like six programmable gaming hot keys, a Razer Hyperesponse Gaming Key Action, four bumper buttons and two 360-degree Jog Dials. It is priced around $69.95.
Seeing as PowerPoint is a rather large part of Microsoft Office, it makes sense that they develop tools which make presenting both easier and more professional. They offer a Mouse called the Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000 which has an integrated slide presenter, laser pointer, and a media remote control (located on the bottom of the mouse and pictured below). It’s priced at $79.95.
They also offer the Presenter 3000 which is a handheld device that allows you to walk around the room and lead your presentation from as far away as 50 feet! It also offers a neat little feature where it will vibrate to keep you on time with your presentation. It’s priced at $59.95.
–Media Center Products–
As Microsoft dives deeper into entertainment with media center built-in to home-premium and Ultimate versions of Vista, they offer some of the accessories you’d need to make your Media Center experience that much better. Offerings include the Wireless Entertainment Desktop series, the Remote Keyboard (replaces handheld remote), and of course the standard handheld remote.
The Remote Keyboard works as a television control and a keyboard, and allows you to control all of your entertainment like music, movies, and photos. It also has an integrated mouse, although it’s frustrating to use. Priced around $90, it’s the perfect accessory to accompany your Media Center PC.
Sick of entering in passwords for all of your password protected web sites? Microsoft has the solution with their Fingerprint Reader. Not only can you swipe your finger to log on to your PC, but you can also use it for all of those sites that require a password. Neat, huh? It’s priced at $49.95.
Are there are Microsoft peripheral fans out there?