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]
Has anyone got this to work on Windows 7(x64)? It looks like I'll need to go back to the flexibility on Synergy.
I'm having a problem getting this installed on WIN7x64. Any ideas?
Just installed this tool and it's amazing. This is a really useful tool and one I will use quite often.
I have tried it on Windows 7(x64) and it worked perfectly except for the inter PC file copy. The copy do not work from Windows 7 to Windows XP(x86).
Have been running this for a couple of weeks, now suddenly today I notice a disabled connection to two computers, one called anantes-651-1-49.net and one called c-76-100-240-255. These are NOT my computers; anyone seen this or know why they'd be showing up? As nearly as I can tell the connection is disabled but I'm somewhat concerned nonetheless.
It's good, though the clipboard can be frustratingly non-functional at times.
hello, phantastic tool, I wish it for Linux
I need help. I installed the software. It worked becautifully and I really like the software.
However, I made a mistake during setup: the computer that I use most of time was setup as "connected", and less frequently used computer was tup as "local". Everyonethng worked fine if the mouse and keyboard are connected to "local" computer that is less frequently used computer for me. The less frequently used computer needs to be on for the software working. The software does not work if the mouse and keyboard are connected to frequently used computer. I tried to reconfigure the "Local" and "connected" without success. I tried to uninstall and reinsstal the software and it did not work neither. It never gave me the chance to configure the "local" and "connected". It looks like that the configuration is stored somewhere.
Please help me! how do I re-configure the software or reinstal the software.
Thanks very much in advance.
Thank you Troung for all the hard work, this is GREAT!
I have my laptop(couch)connected to my HTPC (Both Win7 x64) with Mouse Without Boarders. The laptop screen dims after a minute, but immediately wakes back up. If I disconnect Mouse Without Boarders, the screen dimms and stays dimmed till I move the cursor as expected. I leave both devices on 24/7. I have noticed that if the HTPC is in screen saver the laptop screen dims as expected.
I've done some testing and overall I like it. As a Input Director comparison I would say the following:
Is there as soon as the machine starts so I can use it to log in to my other machines
Cut and Paste is good
File drag is good but it would be better if you could drag to a folder rather than it always ending up in a desktop folder
Not able to change the wrap order of PC’s/screens as flexibly as Input Director. For example I have a small laptop which I ‘wrap to’ by going upwards from my main central screen but deliberately cannot go upwards from the other two screens on my main PC
You can put ‘mouse circles’ around the pointer as it transits which helps you spot it
Tested on a main desktop PC (W7) with 3 screens and a laptop (W7) plus a shuttle box (XP)
I think I’ll use it for a few days and see if I stick with it or go back to Input Director. Is there a development plan going forward? If there are any updates what is te best way to find them?
Thanks for the application
This is great! It has really improved my productivity working with more than one machine especially in my performance testing or our application. Love the shared clipboard and cut and paste across machines...but just the ability to use one mouse/keyboard across multiple machines has made a huge impact for me.
Nice bit of code, works nicely. However, my setup is a bit weird in that I have a machine with 2 screens in the "middle" and then a further machine with 2 screens on each side (total of 4 for that machine), and obviously the mouse won't wrap as you might expect it to.
Perhaps version 2.0 would allow you to specify where all the monitors are so the mouse wrapping works as expected?
For those having timeout problems check out the discussion here:
This is how I solved it:
(after the program is installed on both computers do the following)
1. Click Start and type "cmd"
2. Right click "cmd" and choose to run as an administrator
3. type "reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MouseWithoutBorders /v !FirstRun /t REG_SZ /d 9/16/2011"
4. Now restart Mouse Without Borders and right-click on the icon in the tray. Choose settings.
5. Here add a computer by ticking a new box. Enter the name of the computer you are currently not using.
6. Make sure the security key matches on both computers.
7. Untick TCP
8. Hit the Apply button and then the Close button.
After you have done this for both computers it'll seem like nothing happend but try moving your mouse from the edge of one screen to the other and see if it magically appears on the other computer. This worked for me.
I just installed it on a laptop running Win7-x64bit (two monitors configuration) with a virtual machine running Win XP (x32bit) on one monitor, and on another laptop running Win-XP (x32bit). Everything works great, from the mouse moving between PC to PC to Virtual PC to file sharing between the two physical PC's. I find it very convenient the fact that the shared files are saved directly on the desktop.
The network performance is still great and unafected by the "mousewithoutborders" software. I personally give this little and powerfull program a two ++thumbs up. On the side note, I hope that Microsoft continues its new approach to Windows. Lately I have found a series of Microsoft sponsored productivity softwares for free on the MS network. These softwares have improved the productivity of my PC by 1000% for free. I am much happier working with my PC than ever before, all thanks to the free softwares added, like this one. My daughter now is regreting buying a MacPro and is thinking about buying a virtualization software to run windows on her Mac. This free software approach is what makes things popular, thus more widely used. Lastly, somebody needs to write a Windows base program that takes care of the file sharing between all existing O.S. directly, withhout having to use the internet. I, as well, will continue my research on Physics, Renewable Energy and Telecom, Thank you Microsoft team and Industry.