Microsoft announces new computer input device.
April 1, 1997, Redmond, WA.
Microsoft Corporation today announced a new line of computer input devices to replace the "mouse" currently used by millions of computer owners. Roger Trac of Microsoft made the announcement today at the Compucon meeting in Reno, Nevada.
The new pointing device is to be known as a turtle. The turtle has several advantages over the mouse, according to Trac. "As an ectotherm, the turtle requires only about 1/10 of the food that a mouse does, and it produces fewer droppings as well" said Trac. He continued "Our field service personnel were noticing a lot of mice failures due to people not feeding their mice. The turtle will thus last 10 times as long before it fails."
Users will notice few differences in operation according to Trac. Performance may be a factor for some users, though; in a demonstration at the show, response time of the reptile was slower than that of the rodent. One area of improvement, however, is the new ergonomic design. The larger size of the mouse should reduce cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Microsoft is downplaying this aspect of the redesign, however, and Trac claims that the software giant has not had any reported cases of CTS since they replaced carp as the pointing device in 1980.
Reports from inside the company said that a number of alternative pointing devices were tried before the turtle design was adopted. One device, code-named Willard, was a larger version of the mouse. Although it had the same ergonomic advantages of the turtle, it also had large dietary requirements, and, industry insiders claim, "grossed people out". A device based on a cobra was "not user friendly". Other snake-based designs were pursued, however, with the company betting that such a product could potentially "gobble up the competition" according to an inside source. Company sources deny reports that a wireless pointing device based on amphibian technology is in the works.
Trac refused to confirm reports that he is a cousin of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. He was also unable to explain the laughter coming from other Microsoft booths at the conference.