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Microsoft: Cover Flow-like patent application

updated 09:25 pm EDT, Wed March 12, 2008

Microsoft Cover Flow

In response to Apple's chiding remarks regarding the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard launch - urging Microsoft to "start their photocopiers" - the Redmond-based software and electronics giant has applied for a patent to Cover Flow-style OS interface. The patent states that the idea revolves around "stacking data wheels" and is primarily designed for mobile environments, potentially the Xbox 360, according to an analysis of the patent by MacNN

The concept is expected to appear in mobile phones, the Zune MP3 player, and Windows Mobile PDAs. It is designed to function with various common mobile applications such as mail, calendar, contact lists, and instant messaging, among others.

In addition to internal resources, the patent application shows that web sites can take advantage of the concept by using a plugin module to simplify browsing content.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ha ha ha.

    Coverflow in reverse. Sure, it looks neat, but getting it to 'flow' nicely with a mouse is going to suck.

    It's funny when they copy ideas, they can't make it exactly like Apple's idea, so it turns into a bastardized substandard revision.

  1. dogzilla

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What's the point?

    Doesn't coverflow itself represent prior art? What could they possibly hope to gain by this patent? Even if it's granted, Apple can just pull out the purchase docs for CoverFlow (the company) from 2006 and bust the patent.

    Not to mention that a variation on this has been kicking around the web as a javascript tool for about 4 years now.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As I recall...

    ...didn't Apple simply buy coverflow...?

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    patent office

    If the patent office grants this one they will have lost what little credibility they still have left.

  1. bloggerblog

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Linux has this already

    This idea is very similar to Linux's User Switcher, and Linux's "Spaces", it stacks the screens in the same 3D wheel layout so the user can flip through them.

    Nothing new here.

  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: patent office

    VERY little credibility, IMO. They latest lawsuit against Apple/iTunes as a great example. If a company doesn't bring their patent to market then they should lose it. Especially ridiculous is some OTHER company suing on behalf of a out-of-business entity is just more than words can describe.

  1. nagromme

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They won't like the wheel interface that Fox on Demand has been using for some time now...

  1. chucker

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: patent office

    "If the patent office grants this one they will have lost what little credibility they still have left."

    Ermmmm.... What credibility is that? ;-)

  1. jcatma61

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I can't wait to use this on my coffee table touchscreen that runs Origami and Bob!

    I can't wait until MS introduces their nano technology so, Vizact 2000 (awesome!!!) and Surround Video® can wrap around my head while I watch Cablesoft® programming!!!!!!!!

    Now if I could just get all this stuff to play nice on the blue Dell laptop that runs my giant blue robot that I run Microsoft Talisman on... OhmyGod!!!!!


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