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Microsoft Patents Cellphones Software Windows Hardware Technology

Microsoft Patent Hints At Foldable Tablet Design For Surface Phone (trustedreviews.com) 26

A new patent has surfaced from Microsoft that may shed some light on the company's upcoming Surface Phone. The patent, which was first filed in October 2014 and recently made public, details a 2-in-1 foldable device with a flexible hinge that can act both as a smartphone and a tablet. TrustedReviews reports: The device in the filings can be configured into various shapes, either folded out like tablets, or folded back inwards to create a smaller phone-like handset. There's also the opportunity to place it in a tent-mode much like Lenovo's range of Yoga hybrids which can be propped up to make it easier to watch media. Microsoft has taken a universal approach to Windows 10, in that the OS is designed to work across multiple devices, so a Surface Phone that could transform into another mobile product would make a lot of sense in terms of demonstrating Windows 10s capabilities. The inventor of the product in the patent is listed as Kabir Siddiqui, the man behind Microsoft's successful patent for the Surface kickstand and Surface camera angle -- which bodes well for this latest design in the long run. Unfortunately, there's every chance we'll never see this technology in a retail-ready product from Microsoft, though some version of the foldable device could well arrive.
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Microsoft Patent Hints At Foldable Tablet Design For Surface Phone

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  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @06:46PM (#53679335)

    ... Microsoft entry into the phone market that has folded.

  • So which CPU will Microsoft use in this - will it be an i5, like in Surfaces, or a Qualcomm CPU, which will then have the phone emulating x86? From the above description, it looks a bit like a phablet, where people can talk over it, or use it as a normal mini Surface book. Hopefully, this time, it's well supported by all carriers, including Verizon and Sprint, and not just the GSM guys

    • basically as long as this time it is x86 compatible it has a decent chance. Trying to create a new viable ecosystem against Android or Apple at this point would just be more suicide.
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy&tpno-co,org> on Monday January 16, 2017 @06:54PM (#53679369) Homepage

    How many times does Microsoft plan to "enter the market"?

  • I would think the most interesting aspect of this device is that it requires a bendable display and, looking at the drawings, I would guess a very scratch proof surface (pun not intended) would be required. Actually the need for a scratch proof (not *resistant*) would be absolutely necessary or else the areas where the fold take place are going to look like shit in short order. The same for the bottom surface when the device is folded and resting on something like a diner tabletop.

    Now, based on Microsoft'

    • Now, based on Microsoft's history with personal devices, I would think that the likelihood of this becoming a successful product is between slim and dick.

      I don't know. I doubt I'd give up my Android for one of these phones if they ever to hit the streets but as for personal devices, I'm very happy with my Surface 3.

    • all depends on whether or not it is x86 compatible so you can run your standard apps, especially the legacy ones. if it is then they will get an instant market in the corporate space at a minimum, I would happily trade my Android for one if I can also run my standard legacy apps which I currently have to use an RDP session from android to use.
  • by kaizendojo ( 956951 ) on Monday January 16, 2017 @07:13PM (#53679519)
    So I guess everybody forgot about the MS Courier concept introduced in 2009 (Video is from 2010 but Gizmodo broke the Courier story in September 2009, posting leaked pictures of what the device might look like and how it might work):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
    And in typical MS fashion, a project that would have beat Apple at their own game and create a new device/market was killed in it's prime because it threatened Windows.
    http://gizmodo.com/5855260/the... [gizmodo.com]
    So the question now is whether it's still novel enough and whether they will still force it to run some kind of Windows instead of the GUI that the Courier was meant to run. Knowing MS culture and history, I wouldn't play those odds.
  • I was wondering how long it would take for the phone/tablet devices from Westworld to be real.

    Just a pity it's not Android... But one can hope.

  • Just making an observation, but seems like lately this site runs a much more noticeable amount of Windows and Microsoft headlines for some reason.

  • LG has demonstrated this already at CES, and they are partnering with Apple [9to5mac.com] to bring foldable OLED displays to the iPhone.
  • no Windows on any of my devices anymore.
  • Sony had a folding clam-shell Tablet P a few years ago. Open it out and you had a full size tablet, or half open it and use one half like a keyboard or something. In theory. In practice it was a dumb idea. Apps had no knowledge of two screens so they just opened themselves right across both halves with a dividing line.

    Very few people want to watch Netflix movies in only one half of the "full" screen and nor do they want to watch a movie with a big line from a hinge / bezel either.

    Unless Microsoft is goi

  • Is this the new form for the MS Courier back in 2009? Ha! That would be hilariously awesome!

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