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Windows Vista to launch with some swanky hardware devices from Microsoft

Microsoft's hardware division is at it again and this time they're pulling out all the stops with their latest product. The company has unveiled a new teaser campaign on its site that showcases "The Ultimate Keyboard."

The new Bluetooth-based wireless keyboard is aimed at making your Windows Vista experience even more pleasurable with such features as a backlit keyboard with ambient light sensor and proximity sensing to power down the lighting when you leave the room. Even more impressive is the included pad that charges your mouse when not in use. It's probably using some kind of induction charging system similar to what's used in A4Tech's BatteryFree Mouse. The ergonomic keyboard also features a host of media buttons and controls to take advantage of Vista's multimedia capabilities and has a 30 foot range. But for all its features, the new keyboard ditches the traditional numpad that most have grown accustomed to.

Microsoft's latest and greatest features premium grade plastic construction along with metal accents to liven things up. The Ultimate Keyboard is sure to have an ultimate price once it's released; likely around the same time that Vista hits store shelves.

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By Alphafox78 on 6/29/2006 2:46:14 PM , Rating: 5
Premimum grade plastic!!!! Count me in!!

RE: Premimum
By Missing Ghost on 6/29/2006 2:57:44 PM , Rating: 3
you mean ultimate

RE: Premimum
By clementlim on 6/29/2006 3:24:45 PM , Rating: 4
No numpad...and cluttered keys like laptops. Count me out.

RE: Premimum
By bobdelt on 6/29/2006 3:38:17 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah without a 10 key I cant see many people buying this. Gamers need a 10 key and so do most business folks. Horrible. Logitechs new keyboards look much better, and I love my detatched bluetooth 10 key.

RE: Premimum
By Crescent13 on 6/29/2006 8:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously. Like someone else in the forums said earlier it looks like microsoft is just to appeal to ipod lover type users that like pretty looks better than hardcore functionality. I would personally much rather have an el cheapo regular IBM Clackety-clack keyboard than that thing.

RE: Premimum
By johnsonx on 6/29/2006 9:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
Games use the 10-key pad? Which ones? I can't recall ever using the 10-key with a game, though I admit I'm not a hardcore gamer.

RE: Premimum
By WileCoyote on 6/29/2006 10:19:46 PM , Rating: 1
I use the 10-key pad for FPS. I've been using it for years in dozens of games. I map it outas: the arrow keys for movement, ins: reload, 1,4,7: grenades, 8: last weapon, 5: handgun, 2: pistol, del: zoom/snipe. And then ctrl: crouch, shift: jump, enter: use, \: cycle weapons, ':show score. And up above: end: walk or sneak, delete: flashlight, page down: various. I buy brownbox Dell keyboards that used to come out a few years ago. They're perfect.

RE: Premimum
By WileCoyote on 6/29/2006 10:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
edit... 2: knife

RE: Premimum
By linkinpark342 on 6/29/2006 10:51:35 PM , Rating: 5
oh my god! have you futsed with The Holy Combination that is WASD????
What's WRONG with you man? It's WASD. It is as close to perfection as anything involving a keyboard will ever get!

RE: Premimum
By CheesePoofs on 6/29/2006 11:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
tru dat, my friend.

RE: Premimum
By Lifted on 6/30/2006 12:35:40 AM , Rating: 2
Uhhh, WASD is so n00b. ESDF pwns WASD so hard it's not even funny.

RE: Premimum
By Griswold on 6/30/2006 4:23:13 AM , Rating: 2
WASD is your friend. I moved from your style to the WASD style years ago.

RE: Premimum
By jkostans on 6/30/2006 9:50:45 AM , Rating: 2
What about the space, z, ctrl, x? Started playing like that before wasd was a standard, tried switching but i just can't do it.

RE: Premimum
By xKelemvor on 6/29/2006 4:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what I was thinking...

RE: Premimum
By JWalk on 6/29/2006 5:33:09 PM , Rating: 2

Aweful for Programming
By TomZ on 6/29/2006 2:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see any software developers warming up to this any time soon - the placement and size of the Home and End keys are aweful.

RE: Aweful for Programming
By hoaxweB on 6/29/2006 2:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to point out the absence of the numpad..?

RE: Aweful for Programming
By Spoonbender on 6/29/2006 2:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
Aigh! Why do they have to change that stuff? I want my numpad, and I want insert/delete/home/end to stay where they've always been!

RE: Aweful for Programming
By cgrecu77 on 6/29/06, Rating: 0
RE: Aweful for Programming
By TomZ on 6/29/2006 4:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
I use Home and End to move the cursor to the beginning and end of line, respectively.

RE: Aweful for Programming
By cgrecu77 on 6/29/2006 9:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, but how often do you do that - it's not like on this keyboard there is no home/end, just that they're in a different spot.

RE: Aweful for Programming
By Lord Evermore on 7/2/2006 4:58:50 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft: the "oh so you're used to where keys and GUI icons are positioned? time to change then!" company.

RE: Aweful for Programming
By dice1111 on 6/29/2006 4:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a programmer, but I create office documents all day long. Home and End keys are an absolute must. I must use them 2 or 3 times a minute. They are the ultimate for page navigation while editing. In conjunction with Page Up and Down and the shift key of course!

RE: Aweful for Programming
By Locutus465 on 6/29/2006 8:08:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a programmer and I use Home/End quite a bit. Awfully convenient for going to the beginning and end of lines.

RE: Aweful for Programming
By Scrogneugneu on 6/29/2006 8:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
Programmer here too, and I couldn't live without my home/end keys. Selecting a whole line in 2 key-strokes is just one of the example why those keys are important.

RE: Aweful for Programming
By cgrecu77 on 6/29/2006 9:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
try Ctrl + Up/Down, you'll see that it's faster because you don't have to reach to the home/end

RE: Aweful for Programming
By Scrogneugneu on 6/29/2006 10:48:11 PM , Rating: 2

Ctrl + Up/Down does not in any way select a line. It moves the window further down (or up). If you're talking about Shift + Up/Down, then it selects half a line and half the other line.

Just try it : Home, Shift+End. Whatever code line you were on, it's now fully selected. And if you don't like being sent at the end of the line, juste reverse it : End, Shift+Home. You just have to get used to reaching the keys (For this kind of manipulation I use the right Shift with my thumb or my index, thus performing the operation with a single hand, and eliminating the argument that "I must reach the keys so far away").

RE: Aweful for Programming
By Visual on 7/4/2006 6:02:01 AM , Rating: 2
yes he probably ment shift not ctrl.
and definitely home, shift down for selecting a line (without home if you're there already) :p
because you usually want it together with the end-of-line thing
but thats a stupid thing to argue about now, isn't it? and home/end are still definitely needed.
i have an a4tech keyboard that rearranged the ins/home/pgup del/end/pgdn keys into something quite awful, and i have a terrible time getting used to it (thankfully, not at work but at home only)
if the keys get totally moved away, i'd probably wish to die. :P

media center?
By jkresh on 6/29/2006 3:09:22 PM , Rating: 2
I don’t think this is meant for your average power user (even those who run ultimate), though it may have a place for vista media center machines (running ultimate but connected to a TV instead of monitor and using a 10foot ui).

RE: media center?
By Souka on 6/29/2006 3:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
It is a wired keyboard.....

If the device is as shown, then the charging pad for the mouse (which appears to be attached to the keyboard) will require a either its a USB cord to get power from the PC, or a AC-Adapter cord that goes into the wall.

either way.....a cord....on a "bluetooth wireless keyboard"

RE: media center?
By maverick502 on 6/29/2006 3:34:24 PM , Rating: 3
no people, the keyboard and mouse are wireless. the pad that charges the mouse is wired, but is not connected to either device. Freaking read.

RE: media center?
By Souka on 6/29/2006 4:21:57 PM , Rating: 2
I did read. "Even more impressive is the included pad that charges your mouse when not in use."

It doesn't state the charging pad is detatchable or seperate. One would assume so, but hey.... I'm going by the picture since the text doesn't seem to clearly state otherwise.

Anyhow... I suspect cost will be about $100-200 since the logitech similar units cost $150-200. (MX 5000 and diNovo).

RE: media center?
By Locutus465 on 6/29/2006 8:09:53 PM , Rating: 2
If you watch the media presentation it's fairly clear. But based on the text my first thought was the same as yours.

RE: media center?
By Souka on 6/29/2006 9:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
ahh, ok...didn't see a media presentation.

spiffy I guess....battery life?

RE: media center?
By OddTSi on 6/29/2006 3:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, this would be a perfect keyboard for an HTPC. For that use you want a small, wireless keyboard with built-in multimedia buttons. This one fits the bill very well.

RE: media center?
By kkwst2 on 6/29/2006 11:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
I must disagree.

I don't want a separate mouse for my HTPC. I want an integrated pointing device on the keyboard. Why IBM/Lenovo doesn't come out with a RF wireless keyboard that integrates their trackpoint device (which is why I will never buy anything but a Thinkpad) is beyond me. I'm pretty sure they would sell a bunch.

It's a pain in the ass to use a mouse on the couch. And where are you going to put the recharging pad, on the coffee table?

RE: media center?
By Visual on 7/4/2006 6:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
why do you need a mouse for a media pc at all?

there are ofcourse stupid gui programs (including a lot of players) out there that've made operation without a mouse impossible, but the best of media center apps (i've had ati and pinnacle, seen win mce) are infact easier with the keyboard. arrow keys and enter work much better for that kind of interfaces, same for dvd menus and stuff.

a mouse is only needed as a backup, when you happen to need to work with windows stuff easily. you know, use the pc as a pc. but even then, if its for just a small thing, i can do just fine with the keyboard.

if you miss the trackpoint so much, windows has a builtin feature to turn your numpad to a mouse (control panel, accessibility, mouse keys) it wont help this particular excuse for a keyboard though as it has no numpad.

a mouse is pretty much essential for lots of games out there, and you probably are going to play some, even if you call it a HTPC. and a trackpoint will totally not be a good replacement.

I'll never buy one...
By ProviaFan on 6/29/2006 3:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
... and that's not because I hate Microsoft.

Unfortunately for them, I prefer wired keyboards and mice for my desktop systems, and my Logitech keyboard (the one with the flatter laptop-style keys) and MX518 mouse are worlds better for my use than Microsoft's "Ultimate" (ha, ha) keyboard.

RE: I'll never buy one...
By TomZ on 6/29/2006 3:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
Have you tried wireless? I like the freedom of no wires. I have a Logitech MX3100 set that includes the MX1000 laser mouse, and it works great.

RE: I'll never buy one...
By Ulfhednar on 6/29/2006 5:19:27 PM , Rating: 3
I am a gamer who also writes out tons of HTML and messes with Photoshop CS2 on a regular basis, and I used wireless for like three and a half years until I realised how retarded it is.

If it was for a HTPC, where I would likely be sprawled out on the couch or something, wireless is fine. But for getting something done? No thanks.

RE: I'll never buy one...
By TomZ on 6/29/2006 5:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
I am a gamer who also writes out tons of HTML and messes with Photoshop CS2 on a regular basis, and I used wireless for like three and a half years until I realised how retarded it is.

What system were you using? I haven't noticed any lag or any other strange issues with the MX3100 systems I have.

RE: I'll never buy one...
By Hare on 6/30/2006 4:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
Lag exists and while you may not notice it on your system other people can. The newest mice don't lag as much as the older ones but people still complain.

RE: I'll never buy one...
By Locutus465 on 6/29/2006 8:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a programmer/gamer who uses a MS Intellimouse explorer 2.0 (wireless) and MS Natural MM KB (wireless) and I don't have any issues gaming or typing away at code. Even my parents extreamly basic logitech wireless KB/mouse combo is just fine...

RE: I'll never buy one...
By jtesoro on 6/30/2006 6:36:11 AM , Rating: 2
I use a wired keyboard and mouse at home. I think switching to wireless gives some level of freedom but I think the fact that the mouse still needs some surface to work on severely limits it. Its quite inconvenient when you decide to sit on the couch or the bed (although at a distance you're pretty limited on what you can do anyway since you're probably too far from the screen). Being able to sit back with the keyboard on your lap is nice, but stretching for the wireless mouse on the desk would spoil it I think. A trackpad or trackpoint device as someone else suggested would be a good idea. When you're on your desk, use the mouse; otherwise, use the pointing device integrated into the keyboard.

RE: I'll never buy one...
By ChefJoe on 6/30/2006 11:14:23 AM , Rating: 2

Lenovo calls this keyboard with trackpoint and trackpad UltraNav feature. They make a full size and a more labtop-like portable size. They'll set you back $100 though.

If it was just the trackpoint and cost less I'd buy one for my HTPC.

RE: I'll never buy one...
By jtesoro on 6/30/2006 10:22:47 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty nice keyboard! You might want to check out Amazon (search for IBM Ultranav). They have it now for $84 new or $46 refurbished. You just might be tempted...

its a multimedia KB
By Homerboy on 6/29/2006 4:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
not designed for work or for gaming... its desinged for HTPC and such. Hence all the MM buttons, wirless and cargable mouse.

RE: its a multimedia KB
By Snuffalufagus on 6/29/2006 5:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
It almost sounds like you're implying they'd design a keyboard for something other than gaming or office apps :)

I know that can't be true cause I read the other comments in the thread.

RE: its a multimedia KB
By Homerboy on 6/29/2006 5:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
imagine that hey? People use PCs for different things?!!?!?

RE: its a multimedia KB
By Scrogneugneu on 6/29/2006 8:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
Office apps and gaming are two different things. I don't see your point.

Needs Work
By GTVic on 6/29/2006 6:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
I have been thinking that a separate numpad near my mouse surface might be the way to go.

What I want in a new keyboard is one of those security fingerprint devices built in, multimedia and a POWER button.

RE: Needs Work
By Hare on 7/2/2006 6:44:06 AM , Rating: 2
Power button... Almost every new motherboard has bios features that enable you to set a hotkey for power. ctrl-space etc or even a password...

RE: Needs Work
By Visual on 7/4/2006 5:37:04 AM , Rating: 2
it only works with ps/2 keyboards, not usb (on my mobo anyway)
and its for power-on only, not for shutdown. though most keyboards have a separate key for shutdown,sleep,wakeup. btw i really hate those if they're placed under the del/end/pgdn, pressing them by mistake an awful lot. ones that only work when used together with a Fn key are fine though.

I like MS keyboards but...
By Myrandex on 6/29/2006 4:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with the FTL comment above :)

I use my numpad all of the time. I also have a natural keyboard,a nd I really do love it. M$ hasn't made a bluetooth one, or else I would have a bluetooth version of it, but for now I'm sticking with my regular cabled one. As for wireless mice, I don't like the lag in FPSs, changing the batteries, or logitech's software (which rules out logitechs recharging MX mice). Logitech's software has been too much of a pain in the ass to configure side buttons for games like Counterstrike in I have given up on them for personal use.

By Master Kenobi on 6/29/2006 4:27:15 PM , Rating: 3
I play FPS myself, and every wireless mouse/keyboard I've tried simply lags behind when I get into the thick of it. I'll stay with wired mouse and keyboard kthx :D......... Infact, I even use an el-cheapo 9 dollar optical usb wheel mouse from Logitech, and an el-cheapo 6 dollar keyboard from generic company.... It's not the size that counts, ITS WHAT YOU DO WITH IT :D

anybody else notice the random letters?
By Tiamat on 6/29/2006 4:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
sup with the random letters scattered throughout the picture of the keyboard/mouse?

By Ulfhednar on 6/29/2006 5:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
Possibly a watermark.

One Step Closer...
By RMTimeKill on 7/5/2006 10:56:37 AM , Rating: 2
Just another attempted step for Microsoft... A step towards total world domination!

Personaly, I wouldn't mind "not" seeing so many MS logos everywhere...

RE: One Step Closer...
By Kim Leo on 7/5/2006 7:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
he he sure they would like that, Bill for president! :P

i have always used Microsoft keyboards, like their ergonomic designs, the ned Natural 4000 is great!, but this isnt sommeething for me, i also use numpads, its the fastest way to type numbers, and when it comes to games, i use them because im a lefty :D.. when it comes to "smart" things i think logitech is the one, however ergonomic i can only use M$..

By Chadder007 on 6/29/2006 3:25:00 PM , Rating: 1
Bluetooth keyboard and mouse = FTL!

RE: Bluetooth?
By lucyfek on 6/29/2006 11:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
FasterThanLight - are you kidding me? my brother's bluetooth microsoft's mouse/keyboard combo works like s..t - the delay on keybord (especially firsts strokes) is holerious, it often does not connect at boot time, keys feel like sponge etc, can't be used with pc switch (despite using the same passcode during setup on second pc). beside it was overpriced. the only pro i can think of is security (with passcode) when it works and the possibility of using it with bt enabled cell phones. oh, and the bt receiver died (for no reason) so it had to be replaced (still it didn't fix daily pain with the product).

By mmp121 on 6/29/2006 2:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
If they really want to move these. Otherwise its just a gimmick.

By marvdmartian on 6/29/2006 3:27:43 PM , Rating: 2
To tell the truth, this keyboard does nothing for me. Add to that the exhorbitant price that M$ will likely charge for it, and that's two strikes against it, before it even lands on my desk top!
Don't get me wrong, I own and enjoy a microsoft keyboard, but I'm betting the vast majority of people that will buy this will get it solely for it's "bling" value.

By MonkeyPaw on 6/29/2006 5:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
I guess MS decided the numpad isn't necessary anymore. It must be one of thier boardroom trendsetting ideas. I assume these won't be for offices, since excel and access jockies thrive on the numpad. I know I do.

Also, I use home and end on a regular basis as well, and they come in really handy when working with HTML.

Perhaps we aren't looking at "MS Keyboard Professional"? Maybe MS will make 7 versions of the keyboard to go with the 7 versions of Vista? :D

Fire the designers
By lemonadesoda on 6/29/2006 5:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
First rule of corporate design, or packaging, is that you only put your logo on ONCE.

TWICE, in different sizes, and at different angles, is just poor design. It smells of teenage cut-and-paste clip-art.

Can you imagine an Apple keyboard with TWO apple logos, at slightly different angles? Or your new TV with TWO Samsung or Sharp logos on the front.

MS should fire their design studio.

No Num Pad YUK
By wrack on 6/29/2006 5:37:25 PM , Rating: 2
Like the title says

By AncientPC on 6/29/2006 5:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
Expect this to be delayed for 2 years with a bunch of features removed except for bluetooth and back lit LCD.

By emergethis on 6/29/2006 6:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
Can you get X drivers for that baby!?! ;-D

By UNCjigga on 6/29/2006 7:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
I'm hoping MS designed this similar to Logitech's diNovo keyboards, where the numpad is a separate piece that can be used as a stand-alone calculator. Or worst case, you have to pay extra for it? If that's the case, it ain't "ultimate". I bet Logitech will release a diNovo combo for Vista anyways.

By Locutus465 on 6/29/2006 8:18:53 PM , Rating: 2
With the new marketing for the KB I have to wonder when the next vista build is coming out (publicly). I've had 5384 die on me 4 or 5 times now. Not real keen on reinstalling until there's a new build :P

Flash vid
By pikefisher on 6/29/2006 11:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
Check out this flash video of the keyboard:

The key board..
By crystal clear on 6/30/2006 5:56:41 AM , Rating: 2
Good for school kids & home use.

AT work its the good old IBM keyboard, that we all know so

By gez on 6/30/2006 11:33:43 AM , Rating: 2
That keyboard looks downright gross to me. Not only the absence of the num pad, but it just looks uncomfortable and cheap.

Cn't wt!!
By Nyago123 on 6/30/2006 1:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
Cn hrdly wt fr ths kybrd... my crrnt kybrd s mssng ll th vwl kys. Whn gt ths nw Mcrsft kybrd, 'll b bl 2 typ bttr.

Try this
By crystal clear on 7/1/2006 3:22:31 AM , Rating: 2
"Adesso Flexible Full-Sized Keyboard "

Try this-good for people on the move.

I wish
By Squidward on 7/4/2006 2:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
that Logitech would release a keyboard like the G15 but with an emphasis on multimedia functions.

By jconan on 7/6/2006 3:53:39 AM , Rating: 2
i guess the designer wanted notebook type keyboards or was wanted a nostalgic design ie tandy, texas instruments or ibm pc jr, etc... very retro in idea cept for the curvature, etc...

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