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Apple vs. Microsoft Multi-Touch Mouse Comparison

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:53AM (#30202638) Journal

    Problem with this, like with many other touch screen like devices, is that you don't get physical feedback when you're clicking or scrolling or doing anything. There's a reason why you actually need to push the mouse button a little bit so it clicks. Not much, but it actually feels like a click. Keyboard presses need to be the same way too - you need the feedback.

    Another example is the scroll in mouses. My Logitech MX Revolution mouse has both seamless and non-seamless mode that you can activate for different apps. Seamless mode was activated by default for IE and I had to take it off, because mouse scroll also needs to "tick" and feel back when you're scrolling. The Apple video shows that you can scroll faster by moving your finger rapidly - guess what, you can do that with a normal scroll too, just by rapidly firing the scroller to either direction (the logitech software actually releases the tick for a bit so it works even better)

    Other thing to consider is how quickly the touch area gets dirty and less functional. I sometimes like to eat a great three story cheese bacon hamburger filled with majonese, chipotle ketchup and delicious cheese with deep fried french fries, topped with a cold beer and chocolate ice cream with strawberries and chocolate dipping. Lets face it, the touch area is going to get dirty. Will it function the same way after that and can you clean it as easily?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:58AM (#30202716)

    I don't think anyone is denying that Microsoft R&D can churn out some interesting concepts from time to time, but there's a big difference between shipping an actual product with most of the details worked out, and merely mocking up a few prototypes that are nowhere close to being ready for actual sale. I'd be curious to see what prototypes Apple came up with before shipping the Magic Mouse. That'd be a more interesting comparison.

  • by argent (18001) <peter@slashdot.2 ... m ['nga' in gap]> on Monday November 23, 2009 @11:59AM (#30202720) Homepage Journal

    Which multi-touch mouse do you want the most? Or are they all gimmicks?

    Nice card-forcing there.

    I like Microsoft's basic wheel mouse on Windows and Mac, and HP's 3-button optical mouse on X11.

  • joke ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:00PM (#30202732) Homepage Journal

    No, seriously, they post crap like that on the Internet?

    This is a comparison of a finished product that is shipping today, against a number of prototypes, none of which you can buy anywhere and most of which you will never be able to buy. Most importantly, none of which are finished and ready for use. We're all living in the tech world. We've all seen at least a hundred videos of prototypes that we were really looking forward to - and the final product either never arrived or wasn't half as good as the demo had led us believe.

    Make a comparison when they're both shipping. Everything else is dumb, and creating false expectations.

  • by Pinky's Brain (1158667) on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:06PM (#30202776)

    A Philips screwdriver and 15 minutes of your life will suffice to clean the inside of your mouse too.

  • by Toe, The (545098) on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:07PM (#30202780)

    And how much would these MS prototypes cost the end-user? One that may be really awesome isn't going to be very practical if it is $700...

    And have they done ergonomics testing to see if these concepts hurt your wrist after a day of use?

    And how easy/hard is the configuration software? The user learning experience?

    Comparing a real shipping product to vaporware is just silly.

    I have an image in my head of a mind-controlled input device that simply takes the cursor wherever I want it, moves pages on a whim, and oh yeah it also does direct mind-to-text input. It also works in 3D environments, and allows multiple users to input into the same session. Mine is clearly better than any of these offerings. I win.

  • Lifting fingers... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amaupin (721551) on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:16PM (#30202896) Homepage

    So with my current mouse I can rest my finger on the mouse button, and press down when I want to click.

    With these new mice, when I want to click I have to lift my finger up from the surface of the mouse and then press down (if the video in the article is indicative of how it functions). I think constantly lifting my finger would become tiring.

  • by PizzaAnalogyGuy (1684610) on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:28PM (#30203020)
    However that isn't the point. Let me try to explain this in the way of an analogy:

    Lets imagine you're in the middle of a epic World of Warcraft raid. You're starting to get hungry, but it's still fun. Your option is to either quit the game and go make food in the kitchen. Second option is to quickly skype for a pizza delivery guy to bring you a large pizza with some mountain dew. Like in GP's case, I think what you're going to do is obvious. 15 minutes later and you hear the doorbell ring and after a short while your mom walking down the stairs with your delicious large hawaiian pan pizza. While grabbing the first slice, an alliance guy jumps out of nowhere and starts hammering you with fireballs. That scares you so much that the pizza flies from your hands straight to your 30" LCD monitor. While trying to catch the pizza slice in air, you knock over the mountain dew bottle over your new multi-touch mouse.

    The point here being, new technology isn't always a good answer for everything.
  • "Tame improvement" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdposeur (910128) on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:29PM (#30203030) Journal

    From TFA:

    The Magic Mouse is a straightforward application of multi-touch to mousing and is a tame improvement compared with Microsoft's more radical designs.

    ...and by "tame" we mean "already living peacefully in people's houses." And by "radical" we mean "awesome in theory."

  • by sean.peters (568334) on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:49PM (#30203288) Homepage

    From TFA:

    This is arguably the first substantial improvement to the mouse since it was invented in 1968 by Doug Englebart.

    Ok, can't agree with this one. Since then we've added the scroll wheel, which was a huge improvement in mouse technology. If you don't believe me, try going back to a plain two-button mouse, and then work with a document bigger than your screen. You used to spend your life moving back and forth between the scroll bar and the text. We've also, for the most part, done away with crappy ball mice in favor of the light tracking ones, which eliminated the sticky mouse problem.

    Multi-touch may turn out to be a big deal, but it's certainly a stretch to say that mice haven't improved substantially since '68.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @12:50PM (#30203306)

    You are quite possibly the most awesome poster in Slashdot history.

    We are all dumber for having read that, and may God have mercy on your soul. ;)

  • by Zalbik (308903) on Monday November 23, 2009 @01:02PM (#30203422)

    I type almost as fast with my iPhone as I do with my keyboard.

    Sorry, but all that tells me is that you suck at using a keyboard. World records for texting have people completing a 160 character message at 40 seconds.
    See here [engadget.com] and here [wikipedia.org].
    That works out to 48 words per minute, which is still very slow compare to even a novice touch-typist.

    You will also note that the world records are continually won by people using tactile keyboards.

    The only people who continually raise the issue with this are people who haven't used the product, or have and are easily frustrated. Or they're too old to learn a slightly new trick.

    Wow, over-generalize much?

    I could just as easily claim that the people who continually issues the iPhone keyboard are people who can actually type. Or that the the people who like the iPhone keyboard are rabid fanboi's who are so trapped in their Apple-worshiping love-fest that they can't see the obvious fact that a non-tactile keyboard is a pretty stupid way of communicating.

    But of course I won't.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @01:11PM (#30203520)

    You never input text?

    People manage to input text fairly well on touchscreens without feedback. And have been for a while now.

    I think the issue at hand here is the difference between inputting text "fairly well" such that you can write pithy tweets or whatnot and inputting text "really well" such that you can write novels, code, etc, etc without suffering serious hand fatigue after the first couple paragraphs or code blocks.

    And please, save yourself the trouble of linking me to some jackass twat who's writing a "novel" entirely out of tweets written on his/her iPhone. I don't care who you dig up, his/her novel sucks.

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Monday November 23, 2009 @01:11PM (#30203526)

    MS: displaying prototypes of multi-touch mice. Apple: actually selling one. That right there is sort of a microcosm of the whole industry.

    MS: We have some cool ideas, but we're waiting to see what the actual uses and benefits are, in terms of both hardware and available software.

    Apple: WE HAVE MULTITOUCH! YOU CAN SWIPE TO SCROLL!!! IT'S WHITE! Our last mouse was perfect, but it sucked. But this one is perfect! BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT!

  • Re:Apple Mouse (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Monday November 23, 2009 @01:29PM (#30203698)

    Have you watched a new user try to figure out one of the new apple trackpads? There is so little feedback that they have a hard time even understanding that there is a button available... and its seriously too bad if they meet up with a highly customized desktop supporting multiple gestures. I've noted that even experienced users need to take some time to figure out a peers configuration (concerning which corners do what).... but can you imagine what will happen as the gestures themselves become more and more customizable and as applications add their own gestures to the mix?

    First Apple makes the, reasonable I think, assumption that the person logged in is the one currently at the computer. The guest account (or a new one) is meant for other users and it has a very simple and consistent setup. When you go to configure the gestures they are explained in the preference panel. No doubt gestures will become more configurable but it won't be through Apple but through third party software. It would be out of character for Apple to do anything but offer a basic set of gestures and lock its use down tightly.

    The feedback issue is subjective I think. Most gadgets these days are going "touch" and people who have handled something like an iphone would have little difficulty adjusting but I can see how it would be a problem for some.

    Magic Mouse -- it doesn't behave the same as a trackpad. In effect having pushed back on movable "mice keyboards" they've also neglected to build a moveable "mice trackpad".

    That was never the point. The Magic Mouse is an evolution of the Mighty Mouse, not a trackpad. If it were a trackpad there's be no point in making it movable and you'd end up with something like the Bamboo [wacom.com] which looks interesting but is a niche product like trackballs. If you meant moveable as in "wireless" you can get such a thing now by using an app like Touchpad Pro [touchpadpro.com] for iphone BTW.

  • Re:What??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sulphur (1548251) on Monday November 23, 2009 @01:35PM (#30203760)

    Do you have to look at your mouse?

  • by egomaniac (105476) on Monday November 23, 2009 @01:36PM (#30203776) Homepage

    Maybe you should actually try USING one before deciding how intuitive or nonintuitive it is. It's actually a really fantastic mouse.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday November 23, 2009 @01:55PM (#30203992)

    Sorry, but all that tells me is that you suck at using a keyboard. ...
    Wow, over-generalize much?

    So you really don't see the irony there?

  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday November 23, 2009 @02:12PM (#30204176)
    You DO realize that all of those text message records (except for the blindfolded one) were done on traditional number pads before touchscreen virtual keyboards even existed on phones, right? As in, typing a "c" would mean pressing the 1 button three times, rather than just hitting the "c" button on the virtual keyboard. The records are completely irrelevant when talking about modern smart phones with full QWERTY keyboards.

    I'm not in love with my iPhone's keyboard (tactile feedback would be nice), nor am I particularly gifted at using it (I don't have a texting plan and send e-mails rarely), but I'd place myself around 25-30 wpm. With practice, I'd imagine I could easily pass 40wpm. I'm not going to suggest that most people can type as quickly with an iPhone as with a normal keyboard (I certainly don't), but the records you're waving around as a counter-argument to his claims are entirely irrelevant and deserve to be pointed out as such.
  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Monday November 23, 2009 @02:34PM (#30204390)
    "Tech-savvy" is pretty fitting for us Unix-using youngsters. I explicitly put "style-conscious" as a separate group. Not everyone buys Macs because they're shiny; some people buy them because OS X is a Unix with nice features (like Grand Central) and an excellent GUI. And that's the people I referred to with "tech-savvy".
  • by ElSupreme (1217088) on Monday November 23, 2009 @02:41PM (#30204482)
    What is the big advatage to a "multi touch" mouse. What does it offer that my Microsoft mouse doesn't do?
    Click. Both (but i leave my fingers on the surface of the mouse, will the Apple one require me to lift my right finger?)
    Right Click. Both. (same issue as above)
    Scroll up. Both (I have a nice wheel, it has acceleration and no indentations)
    Scroll sidways. Both (my wheel tilts sideways, never really needs use)
    Go back. Both (I assume there is some two touch swipe method for this, I have a back button)
    Zoom. Both? (pinching would require some weird scissor motion or repositioning your fingers, my mouse has a button)
    Middle click. MINE. (sure the apple mouse will probably get this but it only does 2 inputs now).

    Sure this sounds good and all but my mouse already does all of these things REALLY well.
  • by Yamata no Orochi (1626135) on Monday November 23, 2009 @03:51PM (#30205180)

    I think the issue at hand here is the difference between inputting text "fairly well" such that you can write pithy tweets or whatnot and inputting text "really well" such that you can write novels, code, etc, etc without suffering serious hand fatigue after the first couple paragraphs or code blocks.

    That wasn't and is not the issue at hand at all. Jurily supposed that the fact that the guy said he didn't have any problems with his iPhone's touchscreen meant that he must "never input text." He was just being a smartass.

    I contend that trying to input text "really well" on something like a fucking cell phone with buttons on the fold out keyboard instead of a touchscreen is an exercise in asstardery.

    That said, no one was discussing replacing the keyboard with some sort of touch pad, we were talking about inputting text on an iPhone. There are no cellphone equivalents upon which you would comfortably write slabs of code or a novel.

  • Re:What??? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spectre_240sx (720999) on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:05PM (#30205304) Homepage

    For one thing, there's tactile feedback with a mouse. It's pretty substantial. Secondly, yes. I'd argue that you look at your mouse pretty constantly, because most people tend to watch the mouse cursor when they're using the mouse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 23, 2009 @04:44PM (#30205684)

    blah, blah

    Natural selection works at the species level, not the individual level. In species with high reproductive costs Nature has consistently selected for a predisposition toward helping each other.

  • by twelveinchbrain (312326) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:04AM (#30210276)

    A Philips screwdriver and 15 minutes of your life will suffice to clean the inside of your mouse too.

    Unless it's an Apple mouse, which is sealed for all eternity and cannot be user-serviced.

    Does it occur to you that the Magic Mouse, lacking buttons and balls, doesn't ever get dirty on the inside?

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