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Microsoft Reinvents the Wheel

July 22, 1996

Microsoft today is announcing plans to add a new feature to the familiar point-and-click computer mouse: a wheel. The new IntelliMouse has a small wheel between the two buttons that allows users to more easily scroll through pages and zoom in on documents.

But as with many Microsoft products these days, there's a catch: The upscale mouse, which will sell for about $85 starting in November, will only work with Microsoft Windows 95 applications specifically designed to handle the new wheel-- such as Microsoft's soon-to-be-released Internet Explorer 3.0 and Office 97.

Online Agenda: At last year's meeting of the Interactive Services Assn., America Online, CompuServe and Prodigy were nervously awaiting the launch of the Microsoft Network and hoping the Justice Department would help them beat back Gates & Co. But as leaders from the online, Internet, and interactive phone and television industries gather this week at the Sheraton Hotel in San Diego, the agenda will be rather different. America Online and CompuServe have cut deals with Microsoft, and the big question is whether these old-style online services-- with their proprietary software and monthly subscriptions-- can prosper in the era of the wide-open, low-cost World Wide Web.

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