Apple has finally abandoned an age-old feature in the design of its computer mouse with the addition of a second button.
Unveiled yesterday, the so-called Mighty Mouse hides two buttons under a single button design, allowing the device to maintain its current appearance. Users have the option of disabling the right-click feature from the second button to maintain the traditional functionality.
The model also features a scroll ball that allows users to quickly scroll through large web pages, graphics or spreadsheets. The functionality is similar to that of the scroll wheel in normal mice.
Apple has also added small buttons on the left and right side of the mouse that can be configured to launch applications.
The vendor's mice have featured a single-button design since 1984, when Apple became the first major manufacturer to introduce a commercially successful computer that included a pointing device.
Apple's OS X operating system does, however, support third-party mice with additional buttons and scroll wheels.
To access right-click features, owners of a single button Apple mouse were forced to use keyboard keys in combination with mouse clicks or hold the button down for a short while.
The lack of a right-click feature hampered the gaming experience for many games on the Mac. First person shooters, such as Castle Wolfenstein and Half Life on the PC, use the right button to fire a secondary weapon and the scroll wheel to switch weapons.
The new Apple mouse costs $49 and is available today. It works with OS X, Windows 2000 and Windows XP, although OS X 10.4.2 Tiger /2127119 is required to program the buttons.
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