Microsoft patents new Windows Phone UI element


The US Patent Office has just published a new patent application by Microsoft for a feature which they call a “personal cloud of mobile tasks”.

The personal cloud has nothing to do with internet servers and storage, but is rather a “cloud” of commonly performed tasks which appear on the user interface, making it quick and easy for users to repeat them.

Examples would be opening up a particular app or calling a particular contact.

The “cloud” would adapt and grow and change its presentation and content based on context, the time of the day or the day of the week amongst others, with the floating icons becoming bigger or smaller dependent on how likely you are to use them e.g. on the weekend the Pizza icon may be larger because you often call for pizza on the weekend, but never during the week.

It is not clear if Microsoft intends to implement this feature, which they first started working on in 2008, but one can easily imagine this being built into the task switching button or Cortana.

See the full patent here.