File this under "things we could have sworn already existed." Microsoft just announced two mice, the Sculpt Mobile Mouse and Sculpt Comfort Mouse, and believe it or not, this marks the first time Redmond has made a pointing device with a hotkey for the Windows 8 Start screen. In addition to bringing up the Start Menu, you can use it return to the desktop, all without having to hit the keyboard. While the Mobile Mouse has just the Start key and a scroll wheel, though, the bigger Comfort Mouse takes things a step further: the button there doubles as a capacitive surface you can swipe to toggle through open programs in Windows 8. If you swipe that strip the other way, you can also bring up a list of open applications running along the left-hand side of the screen. Note: the Comfort Mouse's Start button is located on the left, meaning it was clearly designed for righties. Or, you know, someone with a strong left pinky.
Some other differences: the Mobile Mouse requires a dongle, whereas the Comfort uses Bluetooth. Oh, and the Comfort has a more ergonomic shape, too, but you probably gathered that just by glancing at the name. Expect the Mobile version to go on sale first -- it'll hit shelves later this month for $30. The Comfort model will arrive in June, with a higher MSRP of $40. In the meantime, we've got some hands-on photos (heh) for you to check out.
Microsoft Sculpt Mobile Mouse and Sculpt Comfort MouseSee all photos