Mighty Mouse On the Way
May 2, 1983: First Microsoft Mouse
Imagine having to type all commands! 31 years ago Microsoft released the 2 button mouse. Designed for Word 1.0 it would fail, but the second version marked the marriage of mouse and PC.
The mouse featured two buttons and was available by itself or would later be bundled with the new Microsoft Word software. Microsoft will manufacture nearly one hundred thousand units of the device, but will only sell five thousand before introducing a second, more popular version of the device in 1985.
Now, rather than typing MS‑DOS commands, you just move a mouse to point and click your way through screens, or “windows.” Bill Gates says, “It is unique software designed for the serious PC user…”
A Bit of Mouse History
The trackball, a related pointing device, was invented by Tom Cranston, Fred Longstaff and Kenyon Taylor working on the Royal Canadian Navy’s DATAR project in 1952. It used a standard Canadian five-pin bowling ball. It was not patented, as it was a secret military project.
Independently, Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) invented the first mouse prototype in 1963, with the assistance of his lead engineer Bill English. They christened the device the mouse as early models had a cord attached to the rear part of the device looking like a tail and generally resembling the common mouse.
Just a few weeks before Engelbart released his demo in 1968, a mouse was released that had already been developed and published by the German company Telefunken. Unlike Engelbart’s mouse, the Telefunken model had a ball, as seen in most later models up to the present. From 1970, it was shipped and sold together with Telefunken Computers. Some models from the year 1972 are still well preserved.
Forgive me for the “cat & mouse” pics, I couldn’t resist 🙂