We know there's a special breed of people out there who don't like touching the screen of their phones and instead stick to a stylus. (We're looking at you, Mal!) But what if Microsoft's trying to go one further in Windows Mobile 7 and make it so that you don't have to touch the phone at all?
ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley has uncovered slides from a January 2008 internal Microsoft presentation that showed "non-touch" technology. Basically you'd put the phone on a flat surface and wave your hand over it in various motions to make it trigger various actions. (These are not the droids you're looking for.)
"But, Phil," you say, "who cares about slides from January 2008? That's, like, a year and a half ago!" As Ms. Foley explains, the mock-ups in the slides have cameras in the top corner of the phone, not unlike the Zune HD mock-ups we've seen. And remember that the Zune hardware team is now part of the Windows Mobile team. And remember that touch (and specifically multi-touch) will play a big part in WM7.
She also notes that the phone is seen interacting with other devices – slide projectors, gaming consoles and the like – which is right in line with where MS is moving things.
Will any of this actually make it into Windows Mobile 7, which we're expecting to be announced next year? Who knows. But if it turns out to be true, we'll all have to stop worrying about Microsoft thinking outside the box.