Logitech Ships its One Billionth Mouse

Can’t you just hear Dr. Evil reading this statement: “Logitech announced today that it has manufactured one billion mice since it first started producing the digital rodents for retail in 1985.”

As remarkable as that statistic may be, we were even more impressed to learn that Logitech is now manufacturing these ubiquitous devices at the rate of 376,000 every day: That’s 7.8 million every month and 94 million every year. The company reached the 100 million mark in 1996 and had sold 500 million of them by 2003.

Looked at from another angle, Logitech has spawned enough mice to supply nearly the entire population of China with one (they’re about 300,000 short, but they have enough to span the length of the Great Wall 20 times over). The company came up with a seemingly endless supply of other fun facts to commemorate the occasion. Did you know that weight of one billion mice would be enough to sink the Titanic? Their combined weight is three times that of famous ocean liner.

Logitech didn’t invent the mouse. That distinction belongs to Douglas Engelbart of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Engelbart called his invention the “X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System” when he demonstrated it publicly on December 9, 1968. But mice didn’t become essential to PCs until Microsoft released its first operating system with a graphical user interface, Windows 1.0, in 1985. The device has been part of the Macintosh experience since that machine’s debut.

These days, it’s difficult to imagine using a desktop computer without a mouse, even machines like HP’s TouchSmart series that come equipped with touch-screens. While some experts, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates, have suggested the mouse is nearing the end of its useful life, Logitech’s Rory Dooley isn’t buying it. Senior vice president of Logitech’s Control Devices business unit, Dooley writes in a bylined article Logitech released today “…the mouse is a fantastically Intuitive HCI [human-computer interface] device that has opened up the world of computing to the masses. It’s ideal for activities that require precision and efficiency and is the perfect tool for navigating the command interface of almost every modern software application.”

Dooley argues that the mouse will continue to evolve and improve alongside computer user interfaces. “As we look to the future and the introduction of new applications,” Dooley writes, “I believe that the mouse will maintain its status as the primary input device for the computer, but that it will be complemented by voice, gesture, and touch.

Logitech also released details of several mouse designs that never made it out of their R&D lab. Here are four of the stranger design failures Logitech was willing to admit to.

  • gwellin
    WARNING to all ships in the north Atlantic. Logitech today announced that it has produced a "mouse-berg" that has the potential to sink an full size ocean cruise liner.
  • bf2gameplaya
    Try using a trackball instead of a mouse, make sure it fits your hand and give it more than 3 minutes of use before you decide.

    You might never want to use a mouse again, for good reason.
  • zak_mckraken
    A trackball is merely an upside-down mouse! ;)

    While I agree that touch-screens, voice control and even brain control (OCZ NIA) are nice additions to the computing "experience", I really can't imagine anything replacing a mouse in video games.
  • pip_seeker
    I tell ya what the logitech laser mouski is the best mouse in the whole world.

    I have used the crap out of him so much so that the silver paint is wearing off where you click. but he still works just as good as the day I bought him.

    balls were made for bouncing / hanging... not rolling. lol.
  • KITH
    A trackball has the ability for finer control as it is moved by a finger and not the whole arm. It is also easier on the elbow as once again you are moving just a finger.

    I use a trackball with the ball by the thumb. It seems to be the best way to go. Unfortunately, manufacturers haven't come out with a new trackball with this design in like a decade so no high performance (high dpi) trackballs are available. Still like it for games but is makes precision aiming difficult.
  • rubix_1011
    Did you know that weight of one billion mice would be enough to sink the Titanic?

    I hear icebergs do a better job, and for far less the cost of a billion, plastic optical mice.
  • Pei-chen
    Apple will do well buying Logitech as Apple engie designed a puck ball mouse.
  • mx 500 at 1000 hz ftw!!!

    So smooth... can literally twitch and make my mouse go exactly where i want it...

    HUGE improvement over my previous g7 mouse
  • jaragon13
    bf2gameplayaTry using a trackball instead of a mouse, make sure it fits your hand and give it more than 3 minutes of use before you decide.You might oh yeah? I used one for 1-2 years,and I didn't have a problem with it...never want to use a mouse again, for good reason.
  • jaragon13
    oh yeah? I used one for 1-2 years damn comment box