Productivity tips, reviews, tools, software and gadgets.

IntelliPoint: To scroll or not to scroll?
Whomever at Microsoft Hardware decided to remove the universal scrolling functionality from the IntelliPoint software, should be removed from the team immediately. If that is the same person who decided that not every key should be configurable in the IntelliType Pro software, he/she should be expelled to Siberia instantly!

I have a Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 8000 (also part of the Wireless Entertainment Desktop 7000), in front of me. In many ways, it's an excellent mouse:
  • very ergonomic for an ambidextrous model
  • it's rechargeable and rechargeable AA battery is included
  • quite attractive in silver, dark gray and matte black color scheme
  • excellent optical performance with adjustable precision
  • no noticeable Bluetooth lag (not recommended for gaming though)
But it also has some serious flaws:
  • the left and right side buttons are difficult to reach
  • although the wheel button turns without notches it doesn't roll smoothly
  • no extra buttons (zoom, search, ...)
  • But most importantly, it must use the latest IntelliPoint software and therefore it's useless!

For starters, the default configuration for this mouse is to have the scroll wheel click (when you push the wheel) launch the Instant Viewer. What on earth do we need that for? I thought Windows Vista had the great Flip-3D feature? I think I can hear them say "Nah sorry, you can't use that with your expensive mouse. You really need to use our full screen 2D viewer to see what windows are open."

Secondly, the Universal Scrolling feature has disappeared from the list of other activities you can bind to the wheel button. Put simply, you cannot scroll a window anymore without clicking the wheel button first (that's what they call AutoScroll, although I fail to discover the Auto in that functionality).

My excellent Wacom Intuos3 comes with a nice 5 button mouse that is ball free and optics free, and it scrolls immediately in any window. It's wheel rolls with soft notches, making it a very nice experience.

Additionally, my magnificent Logitech VX Revolution notebook mouse comes with an incredible free wheeling scroll wheel. It takes a little time to get used to it, but the productivity gains when skimming through hundreds of spam mails in Outlook 2007 is unbelievable. The best thing about this mouse is that it doesn't need the bloated Logitech software to work as expected, including scrolling a window without clicking. It has a search button, zoom lever, and back/forward buttons: these all work as expected in Vista. To anyone at Microsoft, please take note of this!

Finally, the magnifier functionality of IntelliPoint is very nice in theory. In reality however, it causes your Windows Vista Aero scheme to temporarily switch back to the Vista Basic interface and then immediately switch back to Aero. WTF! So it can work in Aero-mode but somehow they can't load the Magnifier DLL without switching. Uch!

Ps: I'll save my rant about IntelliPoint Pro 6.1 for a future post. There's only so much you can take :-)

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  Posted by oVan on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 | PermaLink | 3 comments
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