Interesting Microsoft Patent Filings: Achievement Incentives In Games, Peer-to-peer Video Sharing And More

Read some of the interesting recent patent applications from Microsoft that became public.

Achievement incentives within a console-based gaming environment

A computer-implemented method is disclosed for encouraging downloads of a game. The method includes displaying an achievement advertisement and subsequently receiving input indicative of the achievement advertisement. The input is responded to by displaying a download component related to a game associated with the achievement advertisement.

Game of chance

A game of chance includes receiving a stake corresponding to a target game-item from a player. In each phase of the game, a random integer is selected and a game-item corresponding to that integer is removed from play. If the target game-item is removed from play, the player is awarded a return and the game of chance ends. If specific game-items or combinations of game items are removed from play, the player is defeated, and the game of chance ends. A subsequent phase of the game of chance begins if the player is not defeated or awarded a return.

Peer-to-peer aided live video sharing system

Video data from an upload client is received at a hosting node. A request from a download client is received at a bootstrapping node to receive the video data. The download client to receive the video data directly from the hosting node when the hosting node is below a threshold, wherein the threshold is based at least in part on the maximum number of download clients the hosting node can stream to simultaneously. The download client to receive the video data from peers in a peer-to-peer overlay when the hosting node above the threshold.

User interface for displaying selectable software functionality controls that are contextually relevant to a selected object

An improved user interface is provided for displaying selectable functionality controls that identifies the context of the object to which the user interface is relevant, which contains rich functionality controls for applying contextually relevant functionality to a selected object, and which may be efficiently switched to a different context for applying a different set of functionalities to a different or neighboring editable object. A context menu of functionalities is displayed adjacent to a selected object where the menu of functionalities includes functionalities associated with editing the selected object. The context menu includes an identification of the object context and a control for selectively changing the context and associated functionalities of the menu to a different object context for displaying a different set of functionalities associated with the different context.

Inline handwriting recognition and correction

As a user writes using a handheld writing device, such as an electronic pen or stylus, handwriting input is received and initially displayed as digital ink. The display of the digital ink is converted to recognized text inline with additional digital ink as the user continues to write. A user may edit a word of recognized text inline with other text by selecting the word. An enlarged version of the word is displayed in a character correction user interface that allows a user to make corrections on an individual character basis and also provides other correction options for the word.

Interactive paper system

A printer, scanner device and methods for using same are described herein. A printer device may include a dedicated input that, when actuated, generates and sends a request to a computer for known data or a predetermined print job, e.g., schedule information from a personal information management (PIM) application. A scanner device may include another dedicated input that, when actuated, automatically scans a document fed to the device by the user and sends the scanned image to IM (or other) software on a computer, bypassing the need to manipulate the scanned image using scanner software. The device may be used with printed metapaper, which includes a barcode or other indicia identifying the metapaper and corresponds to a stored template image of the metapaper. When the metapaper is rescanned, the scan can be compared to the stored template information to identify changes and synchronize the changes with the IM software.

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