The Unwired shows us details from a recent patent application from Microsoft. Normally, the right reaction to patent applications is to shrug, perhaps engage in some wishful thinking, and then move on. One can rarely tell whether or not a given patent represents actual plans for devices or just a company covering its bases when an employee has an interesting idea.

This one, though, I believe is a sign of things to come. It's reminiscent of the recent Vodafone interface put on top of the Treo 500v, which is basically a "carousel" of functions. If you want to send an email, you just rotate to email and choose send. That same carousel lets you do other bits like view your calendar. In other words, details like this from the patent sound very familiar:

a list centered around a user's current day can include items corresponding to meetings scheduled for that day using a calendar application, E-Mail received on that day through an E-Mail application, and a weather forecast for the day provided by a weather service application.

Basically, it lets you think "what do I want to do right now" instead of "what do I want to do right now, what application do I need to open to do it, and how to I interact with that particular application." I dearly hope we'll see the fruits of this patent in Photon, the next version of Windows Mobile.

After the break, more patent drawing fun.