Microsoft Teases IntelliMouse Comeback

Posted on October 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware with 50 Comments

Microsoft Teases IntelliMouse Comeback

In a curious move, Microsoft revealed this week that it will resurrect a classic mouse from its past, the IntelliMouse.

“We’re bringing back a legend,” Microsoft’s Panos Panay tweeted yesterday, triggering an explosion of cereal and milk on screen. “Meet the new Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse, an upgraded version of an old favorite.”

The tweet was accompanied by the photo at the top of this post. My reaction was … confused.

Mr. Panay didn’t include a link in his tweet, but a bit of digging unveiled an actual listing for this mouse, called the Microsoft Classic Intellimouse, on the Microsoft Store website.

Here, we learn that this mouse will cost $39.99, and that it is inspired by—seems nearly identical to—the Microsoft Intellimouse 3.0, which is indeed a “classic,” I guess. But then so is Microsoft Bob. And Plus! 95.

“The features that fans loved about the original are still here — customizable buttons, the classic ergonomic look and feel, and the wired USB connection,” the store listing notes. “Upgrades made possible by today’s technology can help you find your breakthrough: tracking is more precise, buttons feel more reliable, and the tail light is a distinctive, modern white.”

I would argue that the red tail light is part of what made the original “classic,” but whatever. The weirder bit here is that it’s wired at all. This will appeal to some old people, and to some gamers, but it’s anachronistic in today’s wireless world.

It is perhaps not coincidental that Microsoft’s also-new Surface Precision Mouse can be used via a USB cable, but that mouse is at least Bluetooth-based, so it can be wireless as well. I’m curious if these two mice don’t share some internals. Also, what the freaking point is of the Microsoft Classic Intellimouse?

Anyway, if you’re looking for an old-fashioned, wired, and right-handed-only mouse at a fairly reasonable price, here you go. Weird.


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Comments (50)

50 responses to “Microsoft Teases IntelliMouse Comeback”

  1. thewarragulman

    I still use an IntelliMouse 3.0 on my workshop machine, it's still a good mouse to this day, although it could use an upgrade, but it's shape is awesome.

  2. mattbg

    It was a great mouse. There are some Razer models that are very similar and I’ve been buying those in lieu of the IntelliMouse 3 still being available but will switch to this if it’s of comparable quality to the original.

  3. Delmont

    The weirder bit here is that it’s wired at all. This will appeal to some old people, and to some gamers, but it’s anachronistic in today’s wireless world.

    I really think that's a bs thing to say. Some of us do sit at a desk all day and work. And work off a desktop PC. So a wired mouse is the way to go. Not everyone is super trendy with their Surface or some $2500 Yoga laptop sitting at a coffee shop.

  4. mikiem

    "I would argue that the red tail light is part of what made the original “classic,” but whatever."

    Don't know about classic, but it was certainly a big part of the identity for one of the 1st popular optical mice. There weren't many alternatives when it came out, but my guess is that red tail light was one reason many people abandoned it once good alternatives hit the market -- I know I was glad to be rid of it. It was durable though -- still works.

    "The weirder bit here is that it’s wired at all. This will appeal to some old people, and to some gamers, but it’s anachronistic in today’s wireless world."

    For laptops, tablets etc., Yes. For desktops, why & how does it matter? From a purely practical point of view, today most high quality gaming mice are wired. That means that you have a Much better chance of picking one up cheap on sale. So for precision image & video work etc. you get a high quality, high rez, precision mouse for a fraction of the $ it would cost for a wireless model. I've got a Roccat Tyon I paid $12 for, & a Corsair Sabre RGB [new model] for $15, both new.

  5. Daekar

    Why would you get a wireless mouse if your use pattern would permit you to use a wired one? That makes no sense. I love my Surface Mouse, but it's objectively worse than my wired Razer Naga in every way.

  6. Richard “Rich” Fenoglio, Jr.

    This is fantastic news, so long as it is just as reliable and well-built as the old models. Some companies (mine included) require wired devices to meet security requirements, and I could never find a better cheap mouse for the job. Hope this one lives up to Microsoft's hype.

  7. Eric Rasmussen

    I loved that mouse. There has never been another that fit my hand quite the same, so for me this is fantastic news. :)

  8. skane2600

    "This will appeal to some old people, and to some gamers, but it’s anachronistic in today’s wireless world."

    Sure because everybody knows that old people and gamers are less likely to use wireless devices, right?

  9. jimtell

    What they really need to bring back is the Trackball Explorer. The best trackball mouse ever.

  10. Daniel D

    It is the best thing Microsoft have done in a long time.

  11. IanYates82

    "Modern white"? Can't it just be white? I know some people like the added flair and fluff he uses in his descriptions, but I can't stop picking it apart in my head. I think it may be because I used to associate such overuse of adjectives with Apple and hearing someone from Microsoft do it so blatantly makes me uncomfortable - and that fact it makes me uncomfortable bothers me because I know it shouldn't really matter :D

  12. Waethorn

    The best mouse they made was the "J-Mouse" with the new stuff, aka "IntelliMouse with IntelliEye Technology". They had an original "J-Mouse" with a ball and only two buttons, one with a scroll button, and this one with the optical sensor that also included the scroll button. That thing was the REAL classic! Here's a link:

  13. Waethorn

    I remember when PC Magazine ran an article (in print) about the prototype for this one, which very few people have ever heard about:

  14. red.radar

    PLease oh please bring back the trackball explorer. That thing is a classic. I know people that will get bearing and buttons replaced due to wear to keep it working. I know one guy who keeps his tracball waxed because the wear on the bearings is so bad. He won’t part with it.

    I am am excited about what could come next.

    look it up, the trackball explorer fetches a premium if it’s in good shape.

  15. gvan

    I totally want a left handed one!

  16. noocyte

    I'm getting this. My current mouse is getting a little long on the tooth...

  17. boots

    Bring back the Microsoft Home mouse, the blue-green one with buttons shaped like a house. And make sure it has a 9 pin connector.

  18. ememmactello

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  19. msmith42

    "This will appeal to some old people, and to some gamers, but it’s anachronistic in today’s wireless world."

    Sure a wired mouse is of no use to a mobile user, but why would anyone sitting at a desktop PC want a wireless mouse? Only a masochist would enjoy paying for batteries when there's no benefit.

    "If you’re looking for an old-fashioned, wired, and right-handed-only mouse at a fairly reasonable price, here you go. Weird."

    The Intellimouse ranks as one of the most comfortable and ergonomic mice I've ever used. I imagine many users tired of uncomfortable, 'modern', form over function mice will be delighted. I assume from the bad attitude you're a bitter, twisted lefty offended by right hand only mice. I'm sure there's a whole army of snowflake, millennial SJW's just waiting to fight such an injustice!

  20. Jedi Dwight

    If they're going to do it, they need improved engineering and quality control. The original silver Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 had a scroll wheel that would sometimes inadvertently go to the next or previous notch. I found it had a very appealing shape, but I could not keep using it due to the buggy scroll wheel. The re-released black Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 some years later had the same issue. It had not been improved. THREE of these mice that I used/tested had this problem.

  21. fishnet37222

    I actually prefer corded mice. I get tired of having to keep buying batteries.

  22. Tunrip

    I hope it still comes with a PS/2 adapter.

  23. Mestiphal

    I miss the explorer

  24. Patrick3D

    If this goes to retail stores like BestBuy then it will be a nice alternative to the terrible "Surface Mouse". I would rather have an Intellimouse Explorer though.

  25. maethorechannen

    But then so is Microsoft Bob.

    Seeing as that's back in the form of Microsoft's AR "Cliff House", why not bring back a 90's mouse as well?

  26. jwpear

    I think this is a better looking mouse than the dull gray/silver looking Surface Precision Mouse, which reminds me of the boring beige hardware of the 90's. It's a non-starter without ability to go wireless (Bluetooth). Sadly, both this and the Surface Precision Mouse have non-appealing features. It's like MS is trying to deliberately limit the success of these things.

  27. Stooks

    I still have one on our kitchen PC. You can see the light green plastic on the button's where the silver wore off. Hopefully this new one will be as sturdy because they fit in the hand well.

  28. MattHewitt

    My boss to this day still uses an original IntelliMouse, and not one of those fancy ones with the laser beam either. The kind with the ball inside. And he bangs it and smashes it all day long because it doesn't work properly. And he refuses to replace it. I don't understand it. I would love to see him get one of these, just to cut down on the noise level in our shared office.

  29. Samr

    Yes bring back the old classic mice, the ones that are comfortable and work.

  30. Polycrastinator

    I guess it depends on whether that shape works for you. I'm having increasing problems, because my hands are relatively small, finding mice which are comfortable for me because the trend seems to be to make ergonomic mice bigger and bigger. I know that works well for some folks, but for me it's rendered many designs unusable. If they're retaining the original's size and shape, I may have to look into this.

  31. Vidua

    This is the most beloved mouse by gamers in history of eSports. While it isn't really a big deal, many older professional players will definitely pick it up if it's as good as old one with needed updates to bring it up to date.

  32. rameshthanikodi

    Is it weird that i'm excited for this?

  33. wright_is

    I still have a pair of the original IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0s kicking around in my cupboard. I use them when configuring new PCs.

    Also, at work, we have Cherry wireless keyboards and mice and they often have connection problems on tower systems, especially if the receiver is plugged in the back, the case will block the signal.

    Many people have started taking cabled keyboards and mice, because they are more reliable. You also don't have to keep replacing the batteries.

    With high-end mice, this isn't such a problem, my MX Master 2, Arc Mouse and the MS Designer/Surface mice batteries last a long time, but older or cheaper mice have real problems, the Cherries we have need battery replacements every few weeks.

  34. William Kempf

    The IntelliMouse was my favorite mouse ever... except for the wire. I won't use a wired mouse again, plain and simple. No wire, no ball.

  35. fourbadcats

    Interesting footnote on the store page for the mouse "* Customization not available on devices running Windows 10 S."

    Makes sense since IntelliPoint is a Win32 application.

  36. fourbadcats

    Use mine daily (left handed no less). Love it and will be getting one of these!

  37. zorb56

    If it were wireless I would buy one, or six.