If you’ve spent some time with Windows 8, you’ll know it’s not quite as mouse-friendly as it was, particularly when using the Metro part. This is where a touch mouse comes into play, giving you access to gestures like swipes and multi-taps to help speed up navigation and bridge the gap between traditional desktop and touchscreen.
Microsoft Device Center is designed for those with Microsoft-branded keyboards and mice (specifically Microsoft Touch mice) to take full advantage of the new interface in Windows 8. It’s basically a replacement for the IntelliPoint and IntelliType utilities that provide enhanced functionality for Microsoft keyboards and mice, which means you get to configure basic settings like switching on and off certain functions and tweaking others, like scroll speed.
The options you see depend on the mouse or keyboard you own – those with more fully functional devices like the Touch mouse will get more settings to play with, while some older devices aren’t supported at all. Click here to see if your device is supported.
Device Center has one more trick up its sleeve, however: the ability to customise your keyboard and mouse settings depending on the application being used. Select “app-specific settings”, click Add New and then choose your program from the list, or opt to manually add a program. You can then set different settings for individual elements such as swipes, clicks or keys.
If you have a compatible Microsoft mouse or keyboard, then Device Center is well worth installing, and should help you acclimatise you to the new operating system.
This is the 32-bit version of Microsoft Device Center, and should be installed on systems running Windows 8 Consumer Preview 32-bit. Those running Windows 8 Consumer Preview 64-bit should install Microsoft Device Center 64-bit instead.