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The good, bad and ugly history of Microsoft hardware

We look back at some of the memorable products in Microsoft's hardware history

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Microsoft built its identity on software development. Just refer to the name, and pay special attention to the "soft." But throughout its storied history, the company has progressively become much more of a multi-discipline workshop, producing physical gear alongside ethereal software code. And now we have the Surface RT tablet, the perfect springboard to recount some of the most memorable (and forgettable) products in Microsoft's hardware history.


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1996: SideWinder Force Feedback Pro

Some products stand out from the rest, and the Force Feedback Pro was one of SideWinder's shining beacons. It was modeled after Microsoft's other joystick, the Precision Pro, but also added motors for palpable force feedback that corresponded with game play. The original stick became popular enough to spawn a second device, the Force Feedback 2, which is still supported today.


  • 1983: Microsoft Mouse
  • 1994: Microsoft Natural Keyboard
  • 1996: IntelliMouse
  • 1996: SideWinder
  • 1996: SideWinder Force Feedback Pro
  • 1998: Microsoft Cordless Phone System
  • 1998: DSS80 Speakers
  • 2001: Xbox
  • 2004: Microsoft Fingerprint Reader
  • 2005: Xbox 360
  • 2006: LifeCam
  • 2006: Zune
  • 2007: Microsoft Surface 1.0
  • 2010: Kinect


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