Microsoft download from The Garage: Mouse without Borders

Microsoft download from The Garage: Mouse without Borders

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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]

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  • Synergy just does not mesh well with Windows 7 or 64-bit operating systems.

  • "Won't install. Just comes back with "Problem Found"."

    I have the same problem on Windows 7 Ultimate x86.

  • Works well.  Got a question though.  If I lock the screen on the "controlled machine" is there a way to unlock it using CTL-ALT-DEL? I haven't been able to unlock without using physical keyboard attached to controlled system. Even if the mouse is on the controlled machine, it just tries to lock the master machine rather than unlock the locked system.

  • I use Synergy, because it supports not only Windows but also Linux, Mac etc.

  • Does it work on one computer with a VPN and the other not on VPN

  • Hi.

    I downloaded the msi file and during the installation I got this error :

    "mouse Without Borders installation has ended prematurely.your computer has not been install mouse whitout borders as a later time please run the installer again"

    I test it in 2 other computer and also downloaded it again , but nothing changed.

  • Does it run over a secure connection?

  • This is extremely convinient, Mouse Without Borders should be built into Windows 8, or at least Windows Server 2012...

  • Does anyone else have problem putting one of the computers to sleep with this on?

  • Wish Microsoft released more such goodies more often. Every once in a while, Microsoft releases gems like SteadyState or SharedView or RichCopy. How about a TweakUI for Windows Vista/Windows 7 which Raymond Chen developed but never released publicly? I wonder how many great apps Microsoft uses internally but doesn't make available to the public.

    I would also like more details on how Mouse without Borders works. What technologies does it use to share clipboard, wrap mouse over the network? Does it install a software driver for what it does?

  • Great program. It would be nice to select the network interface during installation.

  • Are the communications encrypted? I understand that a lot of people arent worried about that kind of thing because they are on their own home network which is protected by encryption. However, I am on a university network, meaning that anyone else on my network could use a packet sniffer and pick up my keystrokes. Granted, the odds of anyone actually doing this are fairly low, but InputDirector provides more security than both this solution and synergy. InputDirector will also let you drag and drop files provided you have the appropriate file shares available. Ideally I'd love to switch to this but its a no go for me if it isn't encrypted.

  • i cant install.....why?its said problem installing

  • Truong (and Microsoft),

    As a long-time MSFT fanboy, I like to at least -try- everything I can get my hands on from Microsoft, especially for free.

    That said, THIS PROGRAM IS A MUST. Emphasis intended.

    I am extremely impressed. I have a couple of aethetic suggestions that I'll post @ Thanks for putting the work into this; let's see if we can't get this bad boy tied into HomeGroups somehow. Wow....

    (So, yeah, I've never tried those other programs, a fact which may contribute somewhat to my excitement.) :)

  • It would be nice if there was Vista / Windows 7 thumbnails support when dragging files between the PCs.  When I drag files between PCs I am shown a Windows 3.1 type drag icon on the target PC.