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Microsoft patents modular Windows Phone with swappable batteries, keyboard, and gamepad

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We've seen slider phones with speakers, gamepads, and of course, the standard keypad -- but what if you want to swap out your slider accessory for something new? A new patent from Microsoft is exploring the possibility, showing off a concept smartphone with a sliding modular bay. Tired of that keyboard? Replace it with a gamepad, or a life-giving battery pack. According to the patent claims, some of the modular components would even function wirelessly, citing a touchscreen module which doubles as a wireless handset or a media remote. Neat? You bet, but we wouldn't get our hopes up -- Microsoft typically keeps out of the handset manufacturing game, and the last modular phone to pique our interest didn't exactly make a splash.

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