I have been a Mac user since The Beginning. I have used a one-button mouse, as per Steve Jobs’ decree, until mid May 2003. That’s a long time. Then, while in Best Buy, of all places, I picked up a Kensington Pocket Mouse Pro because I wanted an inexpensive mouse that would travel well in my backpack. And, of course, I liked the retractable cord that winds into mouse’s body via its “garage door.” After three weeks with it, I can safely say, the time has come for Apple to ship a two-button mouse with a scroll wheel standard.
Almost every current computer user has used a two-button mouse thanks to Windows; the nine out of ten that own a Windows machine and most of the rest of us 10-percenters who are forced to use that platform at work. Only a rare few have managed to completely avoid Windows and the two-button mouse. So, basically, we all know how to use the “right-button” already. Using Mac OS X efficiently requires so many damn “Control-clicks” with Apple’s standard one-button mouse that Apple’s insistence on shipping it is no longer quaint, it’s bordering on criminal. Apple, the time is now.
For the beginner and K-6 education, include the option for a one-button mouse. But, for the rest of us, please make a quality optical two-button mouse with a scroll wheel and ship it standard. We can handle it. Really, we can.
Personally, I feel as if freed from handcuffs. I am no longer wearing boxing gloves. If Mac OS users are 30% more efficient than Windows users with a one-button mouse, imagine us with a standard two-button Apple mouse!
Shipping Mac OS X and a one-button mouse is like Sony shipping televisions without remotes. Or BMW delivering cars with only AM radios; requiring owners to go buy real stereos on their own. It just shouldn’t happen.
I realize the whole “elegance” argument that asks why do something with many buttons that you can do the same with one, but is holding the control key while clicking really doing more with less? Label the right mouse button “Control” if it makes you feel better, but let’s get on with it.
Why make, in my estimation, 80-90% of your users have to go out and upgrade the most basic input device if they want to use Mac OS X dexterously? I realize that many professional users have different input needs; three button mice, graphics tablets, trackballs, etc., but come on already, Apple, get with your own program. You designed the OS and to use it effectively really requires a two-button mouse. So, will you guys finally ship a two-button scroll-wheel mouse standard with all desktops and split that one-button on portable trackpads into two, please?
SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.