We can't say we know exactly what Microsoft has in mind with this patent application for a mobile device with a slide-out keyboard, flip-up screen, and a numeric keypad, but apparently it's based around the idea that users won't have to understand the inner functions of a computer if provided with enough hardware controls. According to the application, "in device mode, the computing system truly assumes the look and feel of a less intimidating multi-media device, rather than that of a sometimes more intimidating computer." Similarly, the keypad lets you simply start dialing to use the phone -- all very well and good, but we've got a feeling most people would rather figure out how to use a smaller handheld than cart this monster around.

[Via Unwired View, thanks Staska]

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Microsoft patent application reveals "VEDa" multifunction handheld with slide-out keyboard