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Make way for the next generation of multifunction pointing devices.

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This story appears in the December 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The smallest piece of computer equipment on your desk--the mouse--may look insignificant, but, as you know, its functions are tremendously important. Yet it's so often taken for granted, most of us expect it to respond year in and year out without so much as a squeak.

Well, today's mice are roaring--they've got lots of new functions, a better fit, a variety of shapes and even rubberized side grips. Some have been flipped on their backs, with the movable ball on top of the mouse instead of underneath; other models are cordless; and a few don't even require a mouse pad. Touchpads, too, have made the leap from laptop to desktop, and, for those more comfortable with this type of pointing device, a touchpad can now be bought as a peripheral, plugging in to your computer the way a standard mouse would.

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