Microsoft is on a hot streak. The company has never been cooler, pushing out hot new start screens (both desktop and mobile), excluding early-adopters from major upgrades (pulling a Google), and snagging the up-and-coming Yammer enterprise social network for a cool $1.2 billion. But sometimes people can get carried away.
So is the case with this image of an alleged future Windows Phone keyboard, which curves out of the bottom right-side of the phone into an arc for one-thumb typing. As you can see, the image doesn’t look very well put-together. But WMPowerUser claims that this image was leaked from an internal presentation, so it’s entirely possible that it’s a render.
What really makes me hesitate is that skewed orange text on the top. It’s unclear whether or not WMPowerUser put it there or not, though I’m leaning toward the latter since the blog’s watermark is nice and aligned. At the same time, there’s a bit of evidence to suggest that this type of keyboard has been in the works for a while.
This whiteboard was spotted in a video (below) featuring Dr. Victor Bahl, Director of Mobile Computing Research, Microsoft Research, and shows the words “one-handed input,” “Apollo,” and what appears to be “soft keyboard.”
We’ve seen plenty of cool keyboard innovations of late, particularly RIM’s predictive soft keyboard, but it’s a tough jump for the mind to make. Multiple letters on the same key and the curved nature in general seem weird, but perhaps we just need to see it in action. That is, of course, if it’s even real.
Windows Phone 7 is the successor of the Windows Mobile 6.5 mobile operating system in development by Microsoft, scheduled for release by October 2010. Microsoft’s goal is to create a compelling and predictable user experience by redesigning the user interface, disallowing partners to modify or replace it, integrating the operating system with other services, and strictly controlling the hardware it runs on.