Microsoft Hardware GM: ‘‘Basic beige is a thing of the past’

“Sometimes, it’s not just how your computer works, it’s how it looks. Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled new computer keyboards in periwinkle and metallic red… and even a mouse outfitted in leather,” reports Helen Jung for Associated Press.

“…The [Microsoft] hardware unit plans to help computer users accessorize well into the future, said Tom Gibbons, Microsoft hardware general manager… Microsoft [has] hired designers and experts in ergonomics [and] the company changed the shape and color of its mice, Gibbons said. ‘Basic beige is a thing of the past,’ he said,” reports Jung. Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “The one thing Apple’s providing now is leadership in colors… It won’t take long for us to catch up with that, I don’t think.” – Bill Gates, July 1999.

Apple Computer, Inc. unveiled the original Bondi Blue iMac on May 6, 1998.


  1. “Microsoft [has] hired designers and experts in ergonomics [and] the company changed the shape and color of its mice..”

    Hire designers and experts? I’ll give them my advice for free – and I guarantee it’s the same advice that they’re getting from these supposed experts: Copy Apple. Oh, I’m sorry – they’re already doing that.

    “The Internet? We are not interested in it” – Bill Gates, 1993

    “Sometimes we do get taken by surprise. For example, when the Internet came along, we had it as a fifth or sixth priority.” – Bill Gates, Jul, 1998

    “We had planned to integrate a Web browser with our operating system as far back as 1993” – Microsoft (27 Jul 1998, filing its first court responses to federal antitrust)

  2. I recall an interview with Bill Gates done by WIRED magazine about 7 years ago and an interview with Steve Jobs as well by the same magazine. The contrast was quite stark. I remember that Steve didn;t think that computers and TV were going to merge if I remember correctly where as Bill did. I think they both have sort of met halfway (led by Steve and followed by Bill.)

  3. I am an asshole, but I am the richest asshole. I make junk designed to tie you to my company. It is the drug dealer concept. This way I make more money. Fsck all of you. I wish I were Steve Jobs, but I’m not. I’m a fake. A hollow man with Kermit-the-Frog’s voice. Still, I win. Oh yeah, here’s 0.0001% of my net worth for AIDS or MS or something. Now I’m a good guy. Assholes, you’re suckers, all of you. Give me more money, so I can try to fill this unfillable gaping emptyness inside.

  4. I don’t see anything wrong with a leather-clad mouse per-se. The point is though that they’re admitting that they were wrong. That aesthetics ARE important.

    Personally I think it’s a shame. I’d prefer them not to try and compete on design. There’s less chance of them closing the gap, or worse, catching up.

  5. “How about a silk mouse ? What articles of clothing could be modified for mouse usage ??? The mind boggles !” — Sledgehammer Smythe

    How about body parts ? That red bump on my IBM (s)ThinkPad keyboard reminds me of a special antatomical feature but I don’t derrive any pleasure from playing with it. Maybe they plan to seduce more users with “sexy” design.

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