updated 04:05 pm EDT, Thu April 19, 2007
More Zune Phone evidence
The long-rumored Zune Phone has received a bit more supporting evidence in the form of another Microsoft filing, this time at the US Patent Office. While originally submitted June 16th of last year, it has only just resurfaced, and comes under the title of "Tile Space User Interface for Mobile Devices." The concept involves making frequently accessed options more easily reached, and receiving updates on information simply by glancing at the appropriate icon. Users would also able to customize the layout of the tiles, creating a unique "home" screen.
Supporting the notion that the patent applies to an original product are two factors. The first is the general suitability of the interface: while a number of smartphones do use elongated screens, the Zune's screen is larger and longer, and so is better suited to displaying useful data in icons. The second is Windows Mobile 6 -- with the OS having only just released a few months ago, it is unlikely that Microsoft would be ready to overhaul what it sells to third parties. [via Mad 4 Mobile Phones]