Microsoft shows off prototype mobile phone

Microsoft Research paper reveals some of its specs, but some wonder if the company is interested more in building a new mobile OS.

Image of a Menlo device appearing in the Microsoft Research paper.
Image of a Menlo device appearing in the Microsoft Research paper. Microsoft

Microsoft apparently has no intention of letting its failure with Kin keep it out of the smartphone market.

The tech giant is working on a touch-screen phone under the codename "Menlo," according to a Microsoft Research paper titled "User Experiences with Activity-Based Navigation on Mobile Devices," (PDF) about Menlo. From that paper:

"Menlo is a prototype mobile device with a capacitive touch screen (4.1" diagonal, 800x480) running Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 which incorporates a Bosch BMA150 3-axis accelerometer and Bosch BMP085 digital pressure sensor (barometer)."

The paper, which was first reported by ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, also describes "Greenfield," an activity-based navigation app that helps users find a specific parked car. "This is useful both in situations where one has lost one's car and needs to find it, but also in finding a car parked by someone else, e.g. a private car parked by another family member, or a shared business vehicle," according to the paper.

However, Foley doesn't believe Microsoft plans to build its own phone but rather focus on developing a new mobile operating system that will work on a variety of processors.

Microsoft announced in June that it was pulling the plug on its social-focused Kin phone less than two months after the product hit the market.

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