Apparently, Microsoft has no shame when it comes to borrowing Apple’s best ideas. This time, though, it’s in mobile phones. It looks like Microsoft is going to push a touch-screen interface in a big way. Screen shots and specs of the next version of Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 7, are being leaked. WinMo 7 appears to support a gesture interface that will let mobile consumers flick their fingers to slide through images and applications, zoom in and zoom out, and even shake the cell phone to do things like shuffle music. (Note that these features are from a purported internal Microsoft document from last summer and may not actually find their way into Windows Mobile 7, but we are hoping that they do).
Not everything in WinMo 7 is copied from the iPhone. The shaking bit is new, and when the screen is locked, you will be able to doodle on your cell phone screen. But there is no denying that Microsoft is taking its cues from Apple on the user interface of its mobile operating system. Will history repeat itself with Microsoft running away with the prize here, or will Apple strike back by licensing its mobile operating system to other cell phone manufacturers?