Microsoft’s New Patent on Clicking

Microsoft have a new patent, relating to launching applications on PDAs. The patent describes launching different programs according to how many times a hardware button is pressed, for example one press for Contacts, twice for Calendar, three times for Hover Bovver.

If you still have a digital watch, it’s exactly the same technique you use every six months when the clocks change and you have to remember how to set the damn thing. Thankfully, this MS patent only applies to hardware buttons on PDAs running Microsoft’s PocketPC operating system.

The irony is not lost on Digital Lifestyles, as we reported last week that Microsoft have just joined a group whose very existence to is prevent obstructive patents and overhaul the US Patent and Trademark Office, renowned for issuing daft patents. We’re also reminded of our very own BT’s claim on owning the patent on hyperlinks.

Microsoft’s patent and licensing programme

BT’s hyperlink patent

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?