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Microsoft adds new gestures for Windows 8 Touch Mouse

If you're already stocking up on official Microsoft mice in preparation for the big Windows 8 launch this week, a bit of good news for you: Microsoft has officially opened up support for multi-touch gestures on its Touch Mouse, which means that you'll be able to flick, slide, and zoom your way through the OS (and apps within it) from the comfort of your mouse hand.

Microsoft's recent release of its Mouse and Keyboard Center 2.0 app unlocks the extra functionality for new and existing Touch Mouse owners. Two caveats, however: The gesture support still isn't as comprehensive as what you would otherwise be able to do on a touch-screen monitor (sorry, no pinching). And, more importantly, Mouse and Keyboard Center 2.0 only opens up this functionality for Microsoft's Touch Mouse, specifically.

In other words, if you're the proud owner of Microsoft's Wedge Touch Mouse – yes, there's a difference – you're stuck without any official support for Windows 8's more comprehensive gestures. You can scroll up and down and side to side, but that's it. Your countless efforts to manipulate your Windows 8 desktop using your touch-sensitive mouse will not pull up the charms bar or app commands, to name a few missing features.

As The Verge's Tom Warren notes, the update, "makes navigating the interface a lot easier. You no longer need to navigate to the hot corners to activate Charms, or use keyboard shortcuts."

"We'd like to see Microsoft extend this support to other Touch mice in its range, but its initial release is enough to improve navigation with a Touch Mouse on Windows 8," he adds.