Apple to mouse: ‘We brought you into this world, and we can take you out’

“You’re probably using a mouse today, but you may never buy one again. All the planets are aligning against this humble pointing device,” Mike Elgan writes for Datamation.

“The computer mouse has long been associated with the PC, but in fact it was invented during the Kennedy administration (in 1963) by Silicon Valley engineers Douglas Engelbart and Bill English,” Elgan writes.

“The mouse was nothing but a lab rat until the Xerox Star shipped in 1981. Though it was the first time anyone could buy a mouse, few did. The Star was overpriced ($16,000) and poorly marketed. The IBM PC came out that year, too — without a mouse. But when the Apple Macintosh hit in January of 1984, the mouse went mainstream and has been with us ever since,” Elgan writes.

Elgan continues, “Now, Gartner analyst Steve Prentice says the mouse’s dominance as the leading pointing devices may be over within 2 to 4 years. And I tend to agree. Several recent developments are slowly changing — or threaten to change — our mouse habit.”

1. Apple’s giant trackpad with multi-touch
2. Gaming pointing devices
3. “Brain-reading” devices
4. Apple iPhone and the “iPhone Killers”

Elgan writes, “I’m confident that Apple will take advantage of its many patents for ‘multi-touch’ systems and ship an iPhone-like version of Mac OS within the next year or two… So take the time to savor every point and every click. It won’t last. The mouse is as good as dead.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a “mouse.” There is no evidence that people want to use these things. – John C. Dvorak, Feb 1984

[Thanks to Bill Cosby for inspiring the headline.]


  1. Don’t know about the death of the mouse; using a 4-button programable roller-ball device (technically not a mouse I suppose), multi-touch won’t ever match the capacities of what I have. Every application can be programmed for different functions and/or keystrokes, so repetitive key commands are set for a particular button or combination thereof. I enjoy (and miss) some of the features on my trackpad when using my desktop but nothing compared to what I miss in the trackball features when using the laptop.

  2. I am not convinced….sure the trackpad is great but I think people wold like to have both. Sometimes it is as superficial as having a designer mouse. But programmability is another important feature.
    We’ll see.

  3. Touch computing is vastly different than traditional computing. Imagine sitting at your desk touching your screen instead of using a keyboard and mouse… Your arms would be tired in minutes. Under the current computing model, the ergonomics just don’t work. I’m sure there’s another solution out there that will bring touch to computers, but touch-screen computers like the Surface and ones from HP aren’t it.

  4. Preemptive Afib, Ha, ha, He, he, Ho, ho ho strike (what’s next tee hee hee, giggle, snort?):

    Apple mice have always sucked, fanbois. You pathetic, uneducated, biased and smelly idiots are clueless. Apple has secretly purchased every single MacBook Air to avoid embarassment. Apple’s sales are in decline because I know more than any of you. I don’t have to prove it. You do. Stinky fanbois.

  5. Eventually the mouse will disappear but no way in the next 2 to 4 years. Apple did away with the floppy how long ago and people still use floppy disks. Granted not as much but they aren’t dead yet.

  6. Rather than Apple dictatorially mandating what is “best”, why not let consumers make that decision? No doubt, the replacement for the mouse will be more expensive and have limited functionality.

    Give the consumer choices, Apple!
    Give the consumer options, Apple!

    Apple, think of how poorly “brain reading devices” will function for the likes of Ampar, MCCFR, and Jubei.

    “Neural network not detected”

    “Associated hardware not located.”

    “Brain not active, please reinitiate.”

    “Application cannot open.”

    “Cranial connection needs major repair.”

    “Invalid volume detected.”

    “Block volume zero.”

    “Incorrect block count.”

    “Address error.”

    “Illegal instruction.”

    “Unimplemented core routine.”

    “Miscellaneous hardware exception error.”

    “Driver cannot respond to Read call.”

    “illegal instruction.”

  7. Well think of Replacing your mouse and mouse pad with a 6×8 sized OLED pad that has Multitouch and pen capability. It could essentially be used for any kind of input. Would have custom user defined buttons if you want. Great for CAD, photo work, or even gaming. Whatever you want it to be it could be. I would change over to something like that in a heartbeat.

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