Can a touch-capable mouse really make working with Windows 8 a better experience?
Learning a series of gestures specially designed for Windows 8 might be better than memorizing keyboard shortcuts.
Using a Microsoft Touch Mouse with Windows 8
Windows 8 isn’t the first desktop OS to take advantage of touch gestures. Apple’s OS X includes various multitouch gesture controls and the Microsoft Touch Pack (more info) enabled them for Windows 7. But Windows 8 is possibly the first desktop OS to virtually demand touch-and-swipe navigation — at least in its “Metro” mode.
Unfortunately, not everyone has the budget nor the desire to purchase a touchscreen monitor for their desktop. Inexpensive touch mice and pads can, however, bridge the gap between traditional mouse/keyboard-shortcut controls and expensive touchscreens.
Logitech, for example, sells both touch mice and touch pads, which some users might find easier to work with. The Logitech Touchpad T650 sells for U.S. $80 and, according to its information page, supports up to 13 Win8 gestures.
Microsoft’s $80 Touch Mouse (site; shown in Figure 1) has a touch-sensitive area on top of the mouse that allows thumb and one-, two-, or three-finger gestures in Windows 8. The mouse is wireless and comes with a small USB dongle.
Gestures supported by the Touch Mouse include:
- Horizontal scroll — Horizontal swipe with a single finger
- Vertical scroll — Vertical swipe with a single finger
- Back — Down swipe with thumb
- Forward — Up swipe with thumb
- Minimize — Two-finger up swipe
- Maximize — Two-finger down swipe
- Display Charms — Two-finger left swipe
- Switch between apps — Two-finger right swipe
- Zoom out/maximize all apps — Three-finger down swipe
- Zoom in/minimize all apps — Three-finger up swipe