Microsoft has announced the improved version of its IntelliMouse.

IntelliMouse uses IntelliEye, a combination of an optical sensor and a digital-signal processor. It captures "snapshots" of mouse movements and translates them into on-screen movements.

The second generation IntelliEye captures movements at 2,000 images per second, against the 1,500 images per second of current models. Microsoft claims this means a 33 per cent faster response.

In the US, Microsoft will release five breeds of mouse. The IntelliMouse Explorer has five programmable buttons and a wheel. The IntelliMouse Optical is designed for both right- and left-handed users, with five buttons and a wheel. The Trackball Optical has a thumb operated trackball, it also has five buttons and a wheel. The final breed, the Wheel Mouse Optical, has three buttons, a wheel and is designed for left- and right-handed users.

Pricing and availability in the UK are unavailable at this time, though Microsoft expects to ship the mice "by the holidays", sources say.