An interesting idea at Microsoft is The Garage, a company-wide program to encourage innovation where employees get together after hours to build their own dream or hobby projects.
One project that came out of The Garage is Mouse Without Borders — a mouse that reaches across several PCs and allows users to move files from one PC to another just by dragging the mouse across, according to Steve Clayton, who writes about interesting research projects at the company for Next at Microsoft.
Mouse Without Borders is now available for free public download here.
In a nutshell, Clayton writes, Mouse Without Borders “allows you to reach across your PC’s as if they were part of one single desktop. I have two PCs on my desk at work connected to 3 LCD screens and using Mouse Without Borders I can move my mouse between the 3 screens, even though one of them is attached to a different PC from the other two. What’s more, I can move files between the 2 computers simply by dragging them from one desktop to another. In fact you can control up to four computers from a single mouse and keyboard with no extra hardware needed — it’s all software magic, developed by Truong Do who by day is a developed for Microsoft Dynamics.”
Most Garage projects either ship as part of a Microsoft project or remain internal, Clayton writes. But “every once in a while there’s a project that doesn’t fit into any existing Microsoft product which will get a lot of request from employees who want to be able to share it with their friends and families. In exceptions like this, the Garage community will rally together to and publish it as a standalone public download.”
That’s what happened with Mouse Without Borders.