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Alternatively referred to as the Microsoft mouse, wheel mouse or scroll mouse, the IntelliMouse is an optical mouse brand first developed by Microsoft in 1996. It has a wheel between the left and right buttons that enable the user to scroll up and down a web page; as opposed to using the vertical scroll bar. The picture below shows an example of the original Microsoft IntelliMouse.

Microsoft IntelliMouse with wheel

The mouse wheel also acts as a mouse button when depressed. For example, if you hover over a link and press down on the mouse wheel, it opens that link in a new tab.

Due to the wide popularity of this mouse, it has become the standard mouse model used with most computers. Although "IntelliMouse" is a Microsoft trademark, wheel mice are developed by every mouse manufacturer today.

Also see: Mouse terms