Microsoft has released MultiPoint Mouse SDK 1.5 for developers. Multipoint Mouse allows multiple users to work on software at the same time, and each can be distinguished by the OS. Current applications are in Powerpoint and are used in a classroom setting. This short video Microsoft Research project: Mischief can give you a quick overview of the program.
The program is not to be confused with applications that allow multiple people to control multiple mouse devices to perform standard operations. The OS system cannot identify which mouse has made which changes, nor is there no option for controlling the permissions of the various devices. While such a program may have viability is some circumstances, that is not multipoint mouse.
What is Multipoint Mouse?
In the shared resource computing category, Microsoft is introducting “Windows MultiPoint Server 2010,” an educational solution that extends reach of technology in learning environments like classrooms, labs, and libraries. It allows multiple users to leverage resources from a single computer, providing more students to have access to Windows technology. In this way it can help them to learn, share, produce, communicate and positively impact their future employability. How? It allows multiple students to have access to one computer.
From the school management point of view, with tight budgets notwithstanding, this software solution will give administrators at the front end and teachers at the backend the opportunity to provide more students with computer resources.
New Features for the Developer
MultiPoint Mouse will enables developers to build applications to take advantage of multiple mouse devices, especially the ability to handle mouse clicks from different users independently and to assign different permissions to each mouse.
- It is available on Windows7 and Server 2008
- It Support 32 and 64 bit platforms using the AnyCPU Intermediate Language. (CIL is a high-level abstract instruction set. CIL is not bound to any specific CPU architecture.)
- you can specify a cursor color, assign a custom image to a cursor, or hide cursors.
- New templates for Visual Studio 2008 are available to simplify the creation of MultiPoint Mouse applications
- Several features from the .NET standpoint were improved or made consistent with the .NET framework.
- The namespace changed from Microsoft.MultiPoint to Microsoft.Multipoint to comply with capitalization conventions for .NET
- The DLLs files library was reduced from five to two (Microsoft.Multipoint.Sdk.dll and Microsoft.Multipoint.Sdk.Controls.dll)
- .Net developers will note that the object model was simplified, reducing the number of exposed classes, methods, and properties.
In one situation the mouse belonging to a teacher in a learning application might need additional permissions to control the activity. This type of functionality will be available with the latest Download of the SDK.
Examples of Multipoint Mouse at Work
- A school teacher, a colleague, walks in to explain something on your computer screen. With Multimouse installed, you can just pass her the second mouse without affecting your existing setup.
- If you are ambidextrous MultiPoint will be a blessing for those who can operate the computer mouse efficiently with both hands. Place a mouse at both side of the keyboard and switch among them seamlessly.
- You will be able to customize the style of various cursors on the same screen.
- Attach the second mouse as an instant backup like an Uninterrupted Power Supply. When you primary mouse fails or the battery level is low, the alternate mouse will come in handy without interrupting your work.
A longer playing video with more detail is available here. Mischief: Early overview.
The download for the Windows MultiPoint Mouse Software Development Kit 1.5 is available here.