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.