Photo: Rethinking the keyboard

Software being developed by Microsoft Research is designed to allow consumers using handhelds to search online by punching in abbreviations and truncated spellings. Another approach, called Xnav, allows users to select letters using a keyboard like the one shown here. Consumers would use a combination of double-clutching and hovering over certain spaces to create letters and punctuation marks.

Michael Kanellos/CNET News.com

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...