Mass appeal or no mass appeal, I think this is a cool idea. Maybe they should consider doing this for tablet instead of phones, though.
Microsoft's R&D department has drawn up plans for a slider phone with swappable accessories, a concept previously attempted elsewhere that failed to become a success commercially. The handset in question looks like a regular slider phone, but features detachable parts such as a gaming keypads, second displays and extra batteries …
this idea has been floating around in various forms...
Microsoft should not be given a patent for it.
Secondly, I suspect their much empowered legal department is probably behind this, so they can patent troll later.
There are many useful applications for this, and with increasing miniaturization, they will become successful, because users don't have to suffer from increased size in return.
I hope somebody steps up against this ridiculous patent.
Next thing, someone comes up with a patent on certain ways to arrange your bathroom cabinet :P
Hats off to Microsoft for this one
I really rather like this idea. It is substantially different to the other examples in that it is a system for docking components *in* the phone rather than *on* the phone.
If it is, indeed, a new idea, then its a good example of what a Patent should be (are you listening Apple, Lodsys, etc).
Not sure how MS will use this though. Could they, for example, licence this to HTC, but only for Phone 7 (i.e. not Android).
As patent owners, they could apply whichever rules they like to sublicencees. However, they may get pulled up later if it was deemed to be anti-competitive.
"Not sure how MS will use this though."
Are those numbers indicating the year in which constituent part was actually invented?
and not obvious to an expert in the field... I think not.
So Win8 will work with Xbox live, as will Xbox, So will next gen windows phone?
This is likely to be a 1st stage of a bigger plan.
Willi it run Crysis?
This could take off if they can find a way to make the sliding panel itself optional. As much as I'd occasionally like a full QWERTY keyboard or an double-capacity battery on the phone, having a mobile that's twice as fat as it needs to be the rest of the time is a deal breaker. If they can solve that they're onto a winner, if not I'll continue to use bluetooth keyboards and detachable battery packs for those rare occasions.
Twice as fat as it needs to be?
But is it, though?
I have an HTC Touch Pro 2, which is the sort of form-factor suggested here, and its fat-but-curved shape sits in the palm of my hand quite nice and comfortably.
By contrast, when I hold my HTC Sensation, there is a big gab between the back of it and my palm, which might as well be filled with phone.
I actually find the iPhone 4, with its angular top and bottom edge, rather unpleasant to hold, whereas the curvy iPhone 3G is comfortable.
I really don't get this obsession with smartphone thinness.