It’s safe to say that mega-technology giant Microsoft wouldn’t be where it is today without help from its intelligent and innovative crew of employees. The proof in that statement is validated by taking a look at the “Microsoft Garage,” which is a side project created by Microsoft that gives free creative and developmental reign to its employees.
The Garage (which is both a physical building at the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond, WA, and a mental manifestation amongst Microsoft workers) has been producing some interesting and innovative projects, 99.9% of which actually make it into retail packaging for inclusion in some of Microsoft’s more prominent software (the projects that don’t ship, usually remain internally part of Microsoft in some capacity). And while some of those projects don’t end up as public freeware, there is an occasional gem that slips through the cracks.
Microsoft Dynamics developer Truong Do crafted such a gem. Truong is responsible for the creation of “Mouse without Borders,” a nifty Windows based software that allows the user to run a mouse and keyboard seamlessly across multiple computers.
This is a “god-send” for individuals that run multiple PC’s in a confined area (I.E. it won’t be useful for those of you who only run one computer at a time). If you are using multiple PC’s that are hooked up to multiple monitors, Mouse without Borders will allow you to seamlessly move your mouse across all monitors without the worry of borders. This means that you are free to “drag and drop” files across multiple PC’s. Better yet, you can “copy and paste” text from one PC and move it seamlessly to another (this includes using the keyboard to type on other PC’s).
Other neat little additions include the ability to log-in and lock multiple computers from one station. You can also change your Windows logo screen via Bing, or from other sets of photos. You can run this program on up to four monitors at one time. Remember that you are using one keyboard and one mouse from one centralized PC to control up to three others simultaneously. All of this made possible through brilliant software design and development. How exactly? Well, in the simplest terms, you install the program on each system that you want to control, then you generate a security key from the central PC that you wish to use. By plugging the generated security key into the other PC’s, it allows you to move your keyboard and mouse across them.
Also note that Truong’s creation sustained rigorous testing from in-house Garage members. 9,000 of them to be exact, put Truong’s development through the ringer to ensure that it was “bug-free” before release to the public.
Myself, being an individual that has run more than one PC on occasion, finds this an incredibly useful tool that has greatly cut down on my transfer times. Seamless motion between computers mean that I don’t have to go through the sometimes arduous task of copying files remotely between my PC’s, and keeps me from having to use CD’s or flash drives to transfer larger files faster. It really helps my writing too, as I can author on one PC, while checking sources and news on another, by simply turning my eyesight between monitors.
I’m happy to announce that I experienced only good things when I tested out the program. When they say “seamless” they mean it, and the program ran smoothly and effectively. I was also happy with the ease of install. It sets up relatively easy, and shouldn’t be a problem for most. With a 1.1 MB file size, it won’t take long to download and isn’t going to take up any more space than a digital photo. Mouse without Borders should be a necessity for those of you who run more than one PC at a time. Trust me, its the type of software that makes a big difference in time and ease of use. If anything, you can install it on your own PC and your friends PC for a few quick laughs.
If you haven’t already heard about “The Garage” then be sure to look into it. With a 99.9% development success rate, it is a good bet that most of the publicly available programs to come out of this side project will be worth checking out.
You can download Mouse without Borders here! (1.1 Megabyte download)