Monday, April 28, 2008

Marketing idiots

Microsoft is stupid.

Logitech is stupid.

For the past few years, I have used exactly one style of mouse on a regular basis, for all of my computing needs. I use a Microsoft Trackball Optical 1.0. It is ergonomic, comfortable and reliable. I have one at work, one in my office, and had one for my laptop. Two or three months ago, my dog ate the cord for one of my three babies. Now, I find out that the only place stocking this wonderful mouse is charging $65 for it. That's more than I paid for all three of mine. The active auctions on ebay are pushing $100 each and more than 70 bids. Yet Microsoft won't bring this gem back on the market.

Logitech has a similar offering. It's the Trackman Wheel. This is currently the only thumb-operated, desk-based trackball that I am aware of. Superficially, it is very similar to the Trackball Optical, but the main buttons on this piece of garbage are skewed at an awkward, carpal-tunnel-inducing angle. There is not a single thumb-operated, desk-based trackball on the market with the buttons set in parallel to the thumb angle.

Both Logitech and Microsoft used to offer functional trackballs in a useful configuration, but neither do now. Logitech used to offer the Trackman Marble, which was similar to the Trackball Optical, except it had a third button in place of the scroll wheel. This gem is going to $200.

There is a serious demand for a trackball in a natural configuration, but nobody is making it. Why?

No comments: