Microsoft posts 10,000th patent

Surface computing feature recognizes user based on objects.

Microsoft Tuesday said it recorded its 10,000th U.S. patent, which came on the back of technology used in its Surface computing platform.

U.S. Patent No. 7,479,950 covers a technology that lets users place objects on a surface and have them associated with data or media stored on the computer's hard drive. A user could place a set of car keys on the surface and the computer could bring up that person's schedule or list of favorite TV shows airing that night.

Microsoft says the company is ranked fourth among companies with the most U.S. patents. In 2008 alone, Microsoft rival IBM was granted 4,186 patents, a record for a single year, to Microsoft's 2,030.

Microsoft says it spends roughly US$8 billion a year on R&D, a figure it says tops any other technology company.

Curtis Wong, who is one of four Microsoft Research co-inventors of the technology, said in a statement: "The goal of this patent is to make the interaction between the physical and virtual worlds a little more seamless."

Wong, who has authored 45 patents, also was a co-inventor in 2006 on Microsoft's 5,000th patent, a technology that let people become spectators in online video games. Last year, Wong was part of a group that launched the Worldwide Telescope.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags patents

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?