Does this bluetooth keyboard exist?

by Simon St. Laurent

Related link: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/keyboard/wodbt_info.asp



While I've not always been a fan of Microsoft's software, I've been pretty consistently happy with their hardware. Now they have a very interesting looking Bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo - or do they?



I've heard rumors that this hardware really does exist, but all I can find is the mouse, and the keyboard only seems to come in the combo package. The keyboard part's the one that's more important at the moment, of course!



On the other hand, CompUSA and BestBuy - Microsoft's "buy now" partners - don't have the combo with keyboard, and Best Buy's site won't even let you order it. My local Best Buy has a label on the shelf for it, but no display, no stock, and three on order for a long long while. Other retailers (Staples, OfficeMax, PC Connection) don't seem to carry it at all.



I'm very used to hardware disappearing as it nears the end of its life. I'm a little more surprised by hardware that's been out for a few months (October?) but can't be found anywhere. I guess I could go with a different wireless keyboard, but Bluetooth seemed worth exploring.



Any thoughts? Is this ordinary, or am I right to wonder?Am I just looking for keyboards in all the wrong places?



[Update: eBay has a few. Still, I'd prefer a more traditional retail experience on a gadget like this.]



Any thoughts?


24 Comments

Jonathan Gennick
2003-01-14 15:27:23
I wish the mouse was left-handed
I saw either the keyboard or the mouse, sorry, I'm not sure which it was now, when I was in San Francisco last November.


My new notebook will have bluetooth, and I'm interested in Microsoft's bluetooth mouse and keyboard as well, particularly in the mouse because I'd likely use the notebook's builtin keyboard. The bummer of it all is that the mouse is only available in a right-hander model, and I use my mouse with my left hand. The shape looks to be too sculpted to use with the "wrong" hand, though I admit to not having physically tried it.

simonstl
2003-01-14 16:27:24
I agree, though
I'm also left-handed, but fifteen years of right-handed mice have taken their toll, and I'm now happier to type predominantly with my left while letting my right handle the mouse.


I'd be happiest to see Microsoft offer the keyboard separately, along with left- and right-handed mice. Since I can't even find the combo... oh well!

Jonathan Gennick
2003-01-15 05:14:54
I'm actually right-handed...
I'm actually right-handed. I switched to mousing with my left-hand because of RSI problems many years ago. For some reason, mousing with my left-hand seemed to balance the workload better. Since then I've just gotten used to it.
anonymous2
2003-02-07 13:51:54
available through dell
we have the combo keyboard/mouse on every desk in our office... they were ordered through dell.
simonstl
2003-02-13 13:21:49
thanks everyone
I finally found one yesterday at BestBuy. So far, so good!
anonymous2
2003-02-17 17:07:35
Microsoft's keyboard
I you kept up with the news, you would know that the wireless mouse that is available now is not bluetooth. Microsoft released the product long before they had FCC approval for the radio transmitting that it does. I will not be available until they get that approval from the FCC. The currently available wireless mouse uses the 27 mhz band that is public.
simonstl
2003-02-18 08:01:45
Microsoft's keyboard
Thanks, but it looks like they got that approval last August:


http://www.infoworld.com/articles/hn/xml/02/08/16/020816hnmsbluetooth.xml


I think you might be referring to the confusingly named "Wireless Optical Mouse Blue":


http://www.microsoft.com/catalog/display.asp?subid=22&site=11315


Otherwise this might be a colossal case of false advertising, but that doesn't look likely.



anonymous2
2003-04-08 12:55:19
Bluetooth availability...
Yeah, the combo set is available at Best Buy and I think OfficeMax only. But...it sucks. I had 2 of them, the first keyboard broke after 8 hours and the second after 2 days. I work for Best Buy and would say 80% of the purchased units have been returned as not functioning properly. I loved the set while it worked, but there was a big delay on the mouse with XP and it's weight balance is like 10/90 with the batteries in the back. I didn't like that either. And oh yeah, good luck finding it in stock...
anonymous2
2003-04-14 21:39:45
Bluetooth availability...
Bluetooth compatible my foot!


I have the Dell Inspiron 600m with built-in bluetooth. However, the Microsoft bluetooth keyboard software insisted that I use their USB => bluetooth connector to do the install and to use the keyboard. If I have to attach something to my USB, it may as well be .... A USB KEYBOARD! Or if you really want wireless, get a logitech which still has to attach a transmitter to a USB port, but costs half as much.


I am bemused that the only advantage the microsoft keyboard/mouse combo seems to offer is that they get to call it "bluetooth" by using a seemingly proprietary "bluetooth" transceiver between the USB port and the keyboard. A wire between the keyboard and the USB port is cheaper and goes faster.


My advice: pass on the microsoft bluetooth desktop combo.


Peter Mantos
Mantos Consulting, Inc.
peter@mantos.com
http://www.mantos.com

anonymous2
2003-04-25 21:24:46
I wish the mouse was left-handed
I am left-handed as well. People sit at my computer and curse about the mouse being on the left side. I am so use to use ing a right-handed mouse with my left hand that when some one reversed the keys to the "left-handed way" I was so confused and it felt odd. If I did get a left handed mouse I think it would be even harder.
anonymous2
2003-04-29 23:54:11
A little late, but...
Found the article while searching for info on Bluetooth keyboards. I saw the keyboard/mouse combo on the shelf back in November of last year at a Best Buy in Portland, OR. I haven't paid much attention since. I'll check tomorrow.
anonymous2
2003-05-15 19:52:42
Best Buy Online
Best Buy: http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouse/wiebt_info.asp


anonymous2
2003-07-07 13:54:18
Bluetooth Mouse
I have the mouse running on XP and I love it. It's no more than the wireless Explorer was, just a different receiver plugged into the same USB port. The keyboard, that's another story...I can't find it anywhere, and when it's advertised, it's as a part of the "bluetooth desktop". I would like to give it a try though.
anonymous2
2003-09-23 12:56:41
Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse and Toshiba 3505
I have a 3505 Toshiba that I just added their internal bluetooth adapter (PA3235U-1BTM) into.
It discovers microsoft's Mouse but will not connect. Continually returns error
Failed trying to connect to the remote HID device
check the device working and try again.
OK I did and it still doesn't work ... ideas?


jac

anonymous2
2003-10-16 08:38:38
Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse and Toshiba 3505
Soory!


But the MS Bluetooth is like other MS-products. It is NOT possible to use another Bluetooth transmitter, as shipped with the budle...So you have to use the USB port for this sh.. device ;(


chris


PS: Logitec probably launches a new product soon..

anonymous2
2003-11-07 15:03:17
if it doesn't this was a lot of work for nothing
http://www.visi.com/~pmk/msbtkb-linux.html
anonymous2
2003-11-17 11:39:03
Microsoft combo kit
Stay away from this one. We have used 3 combo kits and in every case the keyboard dies after 6 - 8 months. Tried new batteries and to reconnect to system without luck. Did buy them at Best Buy and their return policy stinks as well as their extended warranty policy. I am trying to source another long range wireless keyboard - suggest you do the same.
anonymous2
2003-12-20 02:12:52
Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse and Toshiba 3505
It IS possible. As the M$ mouse is compatible to the HID-profile, it is compatible to every bluetooth transceiver which is compatible to it. With my Dell Inspiron 8600 the mouse works without any problems.
anonymous2
2003-12-23 15:34:26
MS Bluetooth Keyboard
Run . . . as fast as you can from the wireless keyboard. It only works for awhile and then stops for no apparent reason. This phenomon seems to be prevalent for many users. Support stinks with long waits any many times the problem continues. I am very sorry I invested my hard-earned money into this impractical toy.
anonymous2
2004-01-04 12:31:26
Microsoft combo kit
Perhaps not the keyboard?
Yes indeed, after one year the keyboards stops responding. Mouse still ok. Replace batteries, reinstall software en tried to re-initiate the keyboard. After pressing "the broadcast" button, the MS bluetooth USB-device did not "see" this keyboard. By accident I discovered that on an other cumputer, with an other bluetooth USB-device (MSI with the latest widcomm software) everything works ok. I have rechecked this with the MS bluetooth USB-device and come to the conclusion that the MS device with the existing bluetooth drivers must be fail under the current windows-xp updates. Ted J.
cerealrat
2004-02-03 17:26:32
Support for non responsive device
I searched Microsoft's website after my Bluetooth wireless keyboard stopped working suddendly. My keyboard is working again!


When you try to use the Wireless Optical Desktop for Bluetooth keyboard or mouse, the keyboard or mouse may not function at all, or may not be detected by Microsoft Windows.


Look under RESOLUTION:


http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=811798&product=hdw

maximillian
2004-04-19 21:09:44
Microsoft combo kit
Okay, I can give anyone reading this the absolute final word on Microsoft's Digital Optical Desktop (bluetooth combo). IT SUCKS! IT SUCKS! IT SUCKS. DO NOT BUY IT!!!!!!


So far, I have purchased 3 sets!! Since I run my pc on a big plasma in my living room, from my couch, I figured I needed bluetooth. Right now, I have to use a USB corded mouse in order to navigate. This is because my 3rd mouse has stopped being recognized by windows. The keyboard still works (this time); but, the mouse WILL NOT reconnect. This time it lasted about 2 1/2 months before stopping. I have yet to have one work for more than 5 months! GARBAGE, GARBAGE, GARBAGE!


THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE BIGGEST PIECE OF GARBAGE THAT IS STILL ON THE SHELVES OF BEST BUY! PERIOD!!

Shinniga
2004-07-09 14:31:35
Microsoft combo kit
I had this exact same problem when I moved the bluetooth combo to a new machine. The solution is straight forward. You won't get anywhere by repeatedly going through the normal "search for device" process. What you have to do is go into the control panel and click on the wireless link icon; select the bluetooth tab and remove the mouse or keyboard that is giving you a problem. You can then use this screen to re-add the device by clicking on the add button. Note two things - you must hit return when you enter your pass key for the keyboard, and you must click the check boxes for the services you want to use on the detected devices - if you don't you just end up in exactly the same situation. For example if you don't check "keyboard drivers" then the keyboard won't offer up any bluetooth wireless services because the wireless reciever won't request them . . . so the keyboard won't work.
scott
2006-06-09 09:31:13
INSPIRON 8500 WINDOWS XP BLUETOOTH WONT WORK STACK ERROR
DELL SUCKS
Microsoft XP SP2 overwrites Widcomm bluetooth driver. Microsoft driver does not work on DELL 8500. Dell reccomends XP SP2download! Dell NEVER tells you how to fix this. No Download will fix it (Microsoft by default does not allow Widcomm to overwrite Microsoft driver).
SOLUTION
STEPS TO FIX BLUETOOTH
0) Disable bluetooth radio in system tray
1) run devmgmt.msc and DISABLE Bluetooth attached devices??
2) rename WINDOWS\INF\bth.ini to bth.BAK_MSFT
3) run devmgmt.msc and disable BLUETOOTH DEVICE/ Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator
4) Click on BLUETOOTH DEVICE/ Dell Truemobile Bluetooth Module - UPDATE DRIVER