In a recently uncovered leaked presentation slide, it appears that Microsoft may be looking to give users more keyboard options when it comes to Windows Phone. The software input keyboard may make a debut on the company’s forthcoming Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system and may come to Windows Phone 7.8, which delivers similar visual skinning as Windows Phone 8 for older hardware. The leaked image comes by way of Microsoft Research and was shown on an HTC Trophy.
According to WMPowerUser, the new software input panel is designed to be used one-handed and is described to be ‘curved to match thumb.’ The predictive text feature will group several letters into a block, or keyboard key, and the keyboard will intelligently guess which letter the user had meant to type as the user continues to key in their word. The arrangement of the keys will follow traditional QWERTY standard.
Microsoft’s current keyboard on Windows Phone 7.x is among the best in the industry so it will be interesting to see the performance of this new one-handed keyboard. In an age where Android smartphones are getting larger and approaching the phablet category, it’s interesting to know that Microsoft is still targeting one-handed usability.