Microsoft hard at work on one-thumb typing for Windows Phone?

Is Microsoft bringing back the old days of one-thumb typing?

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

Microsoft-tracking blog WMPoweruser yesterday published an image of what it claims is a new keyboard being considered by Microsoft Research. The "one-handed and next-gen soft keyboard" will be designed for Windows Phone 8, according to the blog, and will feature a curved design. That curve places the keys in such a way that makes it easier for users to type with a single thumb.

Since the implementation would provide less screen real estate for the keyboard, the image WMPoweruser published shows each button housing three letters. It's not clear how it works, but it's possible that users will hold their finger down on each key to decide what letter they want.

Microsoft has long indicated that it would like to help users type with one hand. Back in 2010, when it unveiled Windows Phone 7, the company's keyboard suggestions tried to improve the prospect of one-thumb typing with predictive technology. It's not clear whether this was completely successful, which may have prompted Microsoft to reportedly work on something else.

In addition to the Windows Phone 8 integration, WMPoweruser noted that the demo was conducted on an HTC Trophy, potentially indicating that the keyboard might also make its way to Windows Phone 7.8.

CNET has contacted Microsoft for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.


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