I’ve mentioned The Garage a number of times here on Next and Jay Greene also wrote a story recently about some Garage projects recently for Cnet.
Today it gives me great pleasure to announce a free download resulting from a Garage project. To recap quickly, The Garage is both a physical space in Building 4 at our Redmond HQ, and a company wide program that encourages grass roots invention, tinkering, ideas and incubation of projects. In The Garage,employees get together after hours to build whatever they dream up and the results are often impressive. 99.9% of the Garage projects either ship as part of a Microsoft project or remain internal, 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's happening today with Mouse Without Borders.
Mouse Without Borders is a project I’ve been familiar with for the last 6 months or so and it’s a wonderfully useful tool. In a nutshell, it 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. The software is easy to setup and in addition to enabling drag and drop of files, you can lock or log in to all PCs from one PC, and as a whimsical bonus is it allows you to customize your Windows logo screen with the daily image from Bing or a local collection of pictures :) I regularly use it to have one PC dedicated to social media streams while I work away on my other PC connected to two screens.
The video above both explains and shows Mouse Without Borders far better than I can using words. The project is testament to the power of The Garage which helped Truong develop the user interface and setup the usability tests that have helped the tool become very accessible and easy to use. As well as that, The Garage and its regular Science Fairs inside Microsoft helped expose the project to 9,000 people before it was ready for external release. Now that day has arrived and I’m delighted to announce here on Next at Microsoft that Mouse Without Borders is ready for download.
Download Now [1.1mb]
Very nice, very useful. I've needed this for a long time.
I notice that you can only transfer a file one file at a time. Still amazing. And the fact that the keyboard transfers too is great.
Wow, I hope this works as well as I imagine it does. I'm actually disappointed that I'm at work right now as I really want to run home and try it out straight away!
Pretty awesome program. This really cuts down on time and headaches.
Wish it worked with remote IP not just local networked computers
Works as stated. Supports wireless too. Nice tool. Also my lap tops keyboard and mouse can control my desktop and vice versa.
Big thumbs up.
I don't see how this doesn't fit into any Microsoft products. Windows 8 is right around the corner and this is a prime example of a feature that could be included.
I will be giving up InputDirector as well, thanks to all the additional features this has.
I love it! Great job! It's way better then synergy!
So I'm a long time Synergy user, but thought I would give this a go. Firstly - install was flawless on both machines, except when trying to start the service on the guest PC. This is a Windows XP machine. It kept failing to load the service. I opened up the Event Viewer and it kept complaining about bad username or password. So opened up services.msc and changed the logon from a specific account to Local System account. The service now runs flawlessly and I can connect without issue from Win 7 to XP. Will see how I get on with it. Thanks :D
Any works for a Windows to PC? I was able to use Synergy, but this app seems like it would work better
Much nicer and so far more stable than input director. It's about time a neat full featured mouse over lan program came out :)
But... for me at least, it breaks the Win7 half screen snap function. Unfortunately, till that is fixed (no doubt soon) I'm stuck with input director. :(
Why it asks for NetFramework 2.0 on Win7, which is rather old???
This is simply outstanding. The clipboard, keyboard etc all follow the mouse too... it really is seamless and KVM Switch makers the world over must be howling in anguish.
An interesting next step (if possible) might be to see if it's possible to transfer certain running executables from one machine to another... for instance a command prompt, AD Users and Computers or whatever (as long as they're installed on both machines obviously)... nothing huge and complex like Word or a Browser but something simple with a small memory footprint...?
The only problem I see with this is it must be restricted to power users, not just regular end users. I can only imagine the problems with "users" this could cause a helpdesk :P Other than that, looks amazing :)
I have two notebooks and one desktop PC. All three run Windows 7. Only one Dell notebook can install. The other two fail to install. Why? Any limitation? Or particular incompatible softwares?