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Cryo Chamber

Microsoft wins patent for handheld computer click

Computer users with itchy trigger fingers take note: The next time you open a software program with two quick clicks on a handheld computer you may be engaging in a process patented by Microsoft Corp.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 27 granted a patent for a “time based hardware button for application launch” in which a click of a button can start different programs if it is clicked once, twice or held down for several seconds.

That process is familiar to countless computer users who have double-clicked their way through Microsoft’s Windows operating system, as well as anyone who’s tried to set the time on a digital watch.

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