Bits & Bytes
THE MOUSE THAT SHRANK
Running graphical programs such as Microsoft Corp.'s Windows on portable computers is difficult. Even with sharper screens and faster processors, most still lack an important feature: a compact pointing device. Now, Microsoft has a "mouse" just for mobile Window-workers.
The $175 BallPoint Mouse is actually a pocket-size trackball. That eliminates the need for a flat surface over which to run a conventional mouse--working space that laptop owners always seem to lack. Other suppliers, such as Logitech Inc. in Fremont, Calif., are also working on portable pointers, but Microsoft hopes to get a head start through a deal with Compaq Computer Corp. Customers who buy any Compaq SLT or LTE laptop by June 30 will get a coupon for a free BallPoint.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG