Microsoft today announced the Explorer Touch Mouse, their third multitouch-capable mouse, the other two being the Touch Mouse and the Arc Touch Mouse. The selling point? The Explorer Touch Mouse features a touch strip that supports four-way scrolling by swiping in any direction. Plus, its scroll wheel allows for three speeds of scrolling. Other perks include five programmable buttons and sexy design bound to turn heads with its smooth curves, rounded appearance and the minimalistic surface. Deal-killer? It is based on RF technology rather than on Bluetooth, meaning it requires the included USB wireless receiver that will only add to the clutter on your desk. Microsoft claims eighteen months of battery life and a more precise tracking on common surfaces stemming from the use of blue laser.

The Explorer Touch Mouse will arrive in September, retailing for $50 (versus $69 for Apple’s Magic Mouse). The gizmo will be available in black, gray and two shades of red. Microsoft’ spec sheet for the product mentions Mac compatibility (yes, OS X Lion is supported), but the somewhat ambiguous wording leaves the level of multitouch integration on Macs hanging in the air. We’ve reached out to the Redmond company for clarification and will update the post accordingly. More juicy press shots after the break…



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