Microsoft filed a new patent on April 27, 2004:
A method and system are provided for extending the functionality of application buttons on a limited resource computing device. Alternative application functions are launched based on the length of time an application button is pressed. A default function for an application is launched if the button is pressed for a short, i.e., normal, period of time. An alternative function of the application is launched if the button is pressed for a long, (e.g., at least one second), period of time. Still another function can be launched if the application button is pressed multiple times within a short period of time, e.g., double click.
Sounds familiar? My digital watch clock was able to have different functionality depending on the length of the button press 20 years ago!!! Has the software patent world gone crazy?
Thanks to groklaw for the pointer.