Mary Jo Foley had us all fired up about the potential of Microsoft's mysterious Menlo, but it appears that the project's not yet a groundbreaking mobile OS -- it's just a prototype slate. Menlo V1 made its cameo debut in a Microsoft Research paper destined for MobileHCI 2010, where it's listed as a 4.1-inch device with a 800 x 480 capacitive touch screen, a 3-axis accelerometer (and a barometer, for some reason) all running on the comparatively boring Windows CE 6.0 R2. According to the paper, which tested out a Silverlight-based app that allowed users to follow a trail of virtual breadcrumbs back to their parked car, the device didn't even have a magnetometer at the time of testing -- thus the throwback compass you see immediately above -- and it's actually never referred to as a phone. We'll keep you abreast of any future developments, but even if the project were leagues more exciting we're not sure if we'd put our hearts on the line. Once burned, twice shy.

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Microsoft's Menlo is a Windows CE device, nothing to see here folks