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Windows 8 tiles infringed on our patent, says SurfCast

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(Read caption) Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer displays a Nokia Lumia 920 running the Windows Phone 8 operating system during an event in San Francisco this week. A Maine company has alleged that Microsoft stole key design cues for the Windows 8 OS.

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After 1.24 billion hours of public testing in 190 countries, Windows 8 went live earlier this week. The latest version of the Microsoft operating system has been billed by Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer as a "new era for Microsoft and our customers" – a distinct "tile" interface that plays well with traditional PCs and laptops and also smartphones and tablets. 

But according to a lawsuit filed this week in Maine court, in developing Windows 8, Microsoft may have stolen a few design cues from a company called SurfCast. Several years ago, SurfCast representatives allege, the company came up with a system of "dynamically updating icons" – otherwise known as "tiles." Tiles, Horizons readers will remember, are an integral part of Microsoft 8. 


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