Microsoft applies for ‘continuous client’ patent


Microsoft has applied for an intriguing patent which could mean the ‘Windows Family’ could become a lot more meaningful.

The patent application filed by Microsoft (MSFT) in July 2010 is titled Methods for Supporting Users with Task Continuity and Completion Across Devices and Time.

The abstract explains the invention as such:

Concepts and technologies are described herein for providing task continuity and supporting task completion across devices and time. A task management application is configured to monitor one or more interactions between a user and a device. The interactions can include the use of the device, the use of one or more applications, and/or other tasks, subtasks, or other operations. Predictive models constructed from data or logical models can be used to predict the attention resources available or allocated to a task or subtask as well as the attention and affordances available within a context for addressing the task and these inferences can be used to mark or route the task for later reminding and display. In some embodiments, the task management application is configured to remind or execute a follow-up action when a session is resumed. Embodiments include providing users with easy to use gestures and mechanisms for providing input about desired follow up on the same or other devices.

CBSNews notes the technology could be used for example to synchronize your place when viewing an email between a phone and tablet, or finish listening a podcast on your phone after starting it on your PC (Zune does this already).

Windows 8 is already widely backed by cloud infrastructure which can be used to synchronize state between a tablet and desktop, and one can easily imagine the technology coming to the phone also.

Microsoft has set itself the goal of leapfrogging their smartphone and tablet competition, and this would both be a way to provide a killer feature, and also to tie the desktop and phone closer together.


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