Microsoft patent could make foldable Windows 10 devices usable

Surface Phone concept

A number of Microsoft patents have shown off the foldable phone
and PC designs from the company. Today, yet another Microsoft’s
foldable device patent has emerged online and unlike other
patents, the latest one is all about the single or multiple
GUI-based display modes.

Spotted by us, the patent titled “SELECTIVELY DISPLAYABLE
MULTIPLE DISPLAY MODE FOR A GUI” was filed by Redmond-based
Microsoft in 2018 and published by
USPTO on July 11, 2019.

In the background of Microsoft’s patent, they wrote that
computing devices with multiple displays can render programs
and media contents across a broader display area (both of the
displays). However, the device may fail to maintain the quality
of the content when it is unfolded and it could result in a
discontinuous appearance.

Microsoft foldable device
Image Courtesy: USPTO / Microsoft

Microsoft says apps may lack awareness of text breaks and other
features of how the program is displayed on a dual-screen
device. Another example is broken toolbars or panels in apps
such as image editor or video editor. Similarly, gaming is also
difficult as the seam between the displays may obscure or break
up relevant content, resulting in a deterioration of the gaming

Patent for foldable PC
Image Courtesy: USPTO / Microsoft

Microsoft’s patent application proposes a new method to address
the above quality issues on a dual-screen device:

“While the hinged mobile computing device is depicted with the
primary and secondary displays in a side-by-side orientation,
it will be appreciated that other suitable arrangements, such
as a top-to-bottom orientation, may be used to display the GUI
in the multiple display mode,” the patent description reads.

“As discussed above, when displaying the GUI in the multiple
display mode, the primary view on the primary display may
include all or a subset of the content of the launch window of
the GUI, i.e., the main content of the GUI, and the secondary
view on the secondary display may include a subset or none of
the content of the launch window of the GUI, i.e., relevant
information related to the main content. Typically, the main
content and relevant information are different from each other,
and also each is different in a respect from the originally
presented content in the launch window for the application
program. The main content and relevant information may
alternatively be referred to as first content and second
content,” Microsoft noted in the patent description.

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