"How can you be two places at once when you aren’t anywhere at all?”

The Garage

How many of you are familiar with the Microsoft Garage?  The Microsoft Garage is a program that encourages Microsoft employees to work on projects they’re passionate about, even if they have no relation to their primary function within the company. Employees from all divisions of Microsoft are free to take part in Microsoft Garage activities and small-scale innovation projects. The Microsoft Garage is a global program with locations on the main campus in Redmond, Washington, and several others spread all over the world  Most of what come out of it are proof of concept apps that always do amazing things  The Mouse Without Borders app certainly ranks right up there!

So, what is it and what does it do?

The idea behind the app is a need to be able to use one mouse and keyboard to control up to four additional computers all at once.  I have to tell you, its one of the slickest apps I’ve seen from them.  The app comes as in MSI you download and install on up to five machines.  It looks like this on first launch:


If this is the first computer. Click No which will bring up another screen providing you an access code, and the name of the computer you’re using.  On subsequent machines, answering Yes will bring up a screen for you to place both the access code and the originating computer name.  That’s about it!  There are several additional screens allowing you to adjust some of the parameters and such, but I’ve yet to need to modify anything on them.  The computer positioning on the first screen determines the physical layout for the mouse and keyboard – the machine on the far left’s mouse can only move to the right to get to the last computer, the mice on the middle two machines can be moved off either edge., and you cam move the machine layout order around to suit.


After installation and setup, I can run the mouse cursor off the right screen edge, and it appears on the left screen edge of second computer.  I can select and run programs, open Word and start typing, just about everything I can do on my local machine, I can also do on the secondary one.  Further, it’s a two-way street!  If I happen to be in front of the second one, I can use it’s mouse and keyboard on the primary machine.

Here’s an Example

So, here was an immediately useful task for the system.  I was working on a Word document on my Surface Pro (the primary) and needed some information from a text document parked on the desktop of the secondary machine.  I scrolled the mouse cursor off my right screen edge, onto the secondary desktop to the text file, right clicked it, selected Copy and brought the cursor back home.  I right clicked an empty spot on my desktop, selected Paste and Presto!, its now on both desktops!  I didn’t have to move it through OneDrive, a thumb drive, attach it to an email, none of that.  Pretty cool, huh??

The Technicalities

Supported Operating Systems:  Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 3,

.Net 2.0/4.0 and Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 or Windows XP SP3 (32/64 bit).

Test Drive Time?

Mouse Without Borders is available from Microsoft Download, have fun!