Microsoft will continue to market its hardware through the channel despite introducing new wireless keyboards and mice that will appeal more to businesses, according to hardware product marketing manager, Cynthia Kouvatas.
“Every year we roll out new hardware products and this year our new wireless keyboard and mouse packages will hit the channel between October and November with retail stores getting them between November and December,” Kouvatas said. “As always, we will be marketing to corporates though the channel and now we have a wider product range.”
Kouvatas demonstrated the new Wireless Optical Desktop Elite keyboard and mouse bundle which is aimed at consumers.
She said the new Basic Wireless Optical Desktop was aimed at the corporate market.
“A lot of questions have been asked about how wireless peripherals fit into the business space,” Kouvatas said. “Wireless peripherals allow clean desks and generally cleaner workstation environments. Many companies also now have ‘hot desks’ so wireless peripherals are easier to manage.”
In addition to working with its channel partners, Microsoft will run channel and consumer advertising campaigns that Kouvatas described as “easy to understand”.
“We’ve been presenting to retailers and feedback has been good,” she said. “Our hardware vision is to make our software easier to use.”
Kouvatas cited market share figures from Inform that have Microsoft at between 55 and 60 per cent of the wireless mouse market and at about 40 per cent of the wireless keyboard market.
“Significant new features of our hardware include the new tilt scroll wheel that allows horizontal scrolling and a rapid scroll feature that allows easy scrolling through large documents,” she said. “Other new features include extended battery life, more colours, and improved performance.”
The Elite and Basic keyboard and mouse packages will retail for $229.95 and $149.95 respectively.