You hear the name "Microsoft Arc Touch" and you immediately imagine a pointing device that's designed to compete with Apple's recently-released Tragic Macpad, a multi-touch surface that emulates the trackpads Apple puts on its MacBook notebooks.

That's not what it is.

The Arc Touch is a mouse. That's all it is. It's arched in use, and it lays flat for packing.

It doesn't support multi-touch gestures or any of that nonsense, not because it's not possible, but because Microsoft has put its multi-touch technologies where they belong: In the screen. And yet every single description I've seen of the Arc Touch mentions Apple's product and suggests that Microsoft is somehow copying Apple. That's not what this is, not this time.

The Arc Touch is simply the next generation version of the Arc Mouse, which could fold up for traveling. This is just a different take on the same idea. Maybe the Arc Touch won't be an ergonomic disaster like its predecessor.