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Press Release

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April 18, 2002

Microsoft Reveals World’s First Commercially Available Bluetooth Desktop Solution

Commitment to Wireless Technology Is Supported With New Keyboard, Mouse

SEATTLE -- April 18, 2002 -- Today at the Windows® Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2002, Microsoft Corp., the leading innovator in desktop peripherals, will unveil the world’s first commercially available Bluetooth™-enabled wireless mouse and keyboard solution. Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will demonstrate the devices during his keynote address, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

The Microsoft® product suite is expected to be available later this year and will include a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard, mouse and transceiver, as well as support for the Windows XP operating system. This desktop solution will highlight the benefits of the Windows-based PC platform, making the latest technology innovations accessible and easy to use.

Bluetooth is an advanced radio technology that delivers improved range and reliability over other short-range wireless technologies. Further, it allows cable-free interaction with dozens of Bluetooth-enabled devices including PCs, PDAs, printers, mobile phones and input devices.

"Bluetooth is the cable replacement technology of choice," said Darrell West, director of marketing for Hardware at Microsoft. "This technology allows consumers to automatically connect -- without wires -- their Bluetooth-enabled devices to their PC. Microsoft is proud to be one of the first to introduce this technology."

Consumers will now be able to quickly and easily create a personal area network (PAN), allowing them to wirelessly link their Bluetooth-enabled portable devices and peripherals to their computers by simply plugging in Microsoft’s USB Bluetooth transceiver. The Microsoft Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and mouse will work reliably as much as 30 feet away from the computer, eliminating the need for inconvenient and troublesome cables and wires. In addition, the transceiver will also act as a portal to the PC for up to seven Bluetooth-enabled devices, and seamless integration with Windows XP will make it easier than ever for consumers to connect additional peripherals to their computer.

The Microsoft Bluetooth-enabled mouse will use the company’s industry-leading Microsoft Optical Technology, providing smooth, accurate cursor performance without the need for a mouse pad. The Microsoft Bluetooth-enabled keyboard will feature the comfortable design and innovative features Microsoft customers have come to expect from the leader in ergonomic desktop designs. Microsoft will continue to offer its existing wireless keyboard and mouse products -- operating on 27MHz technology -- as a lower-cost alternative to Bluetooth.

Microsoft first joined the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) Inc. as a promoter group company in 1999. The company’s continued support of Bluetooth technology will complement its backing of other wireless technologies, including WiFi (802.11b) for wireless computer networking. Just as the USB and Ethernet wired communications standards meet different needs, Microsoft intends to actively support Bluetooth and WLAN technologies within different product categories.

The Microsoft Hardware Group employs innovative engineering, cutting-edge industrial design and extensive usability testing to create products of exceptional quality and durability that improve the software experience and strengthen the connection between users and their computers.

About Bluetooth

Bluetooth wireless technology is set to revolutionize the personal connectivity market by providing freedom from wired connections. It is a specification for a small-form-factor, low-cost radio solution providing links between mobile computers, mobile phones and other portable handheld devices, and connectivity to the Internet. The Bluetooth SIG, composed of leaders from the telecommunications, computing and network industries, is driving development of the technology and bringing it to market. The Bluetooth SIG includes promoter group companies 3Com Corp., Agere Systems Inc., Ericsson, IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Microsoft, Motorola Inc., Nokia and Toshiba Corp., and hundreds of associate and adopter member companies.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.

The information contained in this press release relates to a prerelease product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the product when first commercially released. This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to this press release or the information contained in it.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Bluetooth is a trademark owned by Bluetooth SIG Inc. and licensed to Microsoft.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


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Last modified: Wednesday December 03, 2003.

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