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Microsoft’s newest mouse has a start screen button

May 27, 2013 8 comments

Original Post: http://www.ghacks.net/2013/05/23/microsofts-newest-mouse-has-a-start-screen-button/?_m=3n%2e0038%2e891%2evh0ao03kwj%2ex2t

By on May 23, 2013

Microsoft announced the new Sculpt Comfort Mouse and Sculpt Mobile Mouse today on the Windows Experience blog. I’m usually not someone who is writing about untested hardware but the Sculpt Comfort Mouse comes with a feature that makes it report-worthy in my opinion.

The mouse ships with a start screen button which Microsoft calls the Windows touch tab that has been designed specifically for the Windows 8 operating system.

What it does? You are taken straight to the Windows 8 start screen if you tap on it. That’s not really this spectacular but that is not all the Windows touch tab has to offer.

If you swipe up the blue stripe on its side, it cycles through all open Windows Store apps, while a swipe down reveals all open apps that are normally displayed on the left sidebar if you move your mouse to the hot corner there.

microsoft sculpt comfort mouse

The Sculpt Mobile Mouse on the other hand ships only with a Windows button that you can click to open the start screen or the start menu, depending on which Microsoft operating system you are using.

The Sculpt Comfort Mouse will retail for $39.95 and the Sculpt Mobile Mouse for $29.95.

How to map the Windows button to your mouse right now

You do not really need a new mouse to add part of that functionality to your current mouse right away.  Here is how you set it up for your current mouse:

  • Download and install the free software X-Mouse Button Control.
  • Open it and locate the mouse button in the interface that you want to use for the functionality. I recommend you use mouse button 4 or higher for it, and not the left, right or middle mouse button.
  • Select Simulated Keys from the list of available commands that you can map to the mouse.
  • Enter {LWIN} and click apply.
  • Et voila, you have mapped the Windows-key to the selected mouse button.

Bonus: You may even add the app browsing feature of the mouse as well. I could not try it on my Windows 8 system as the Windows-Tab shortcut that is powering the feature is not working on it.

Just repeat the steps above and add {TAB} after {LWIN} in step 4. This simulates a Left-Windows-Tab shortcut, which displays all open apps in a small overlay on the screen that you can go through.

Bonus 2: The difference between Alt-Tab and Windows-Tab on Windows 8? Alt-Tab cycles through Windows Store apps and desktop programs whereas Windows-Tab only through Store apps.

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