Microsoft has submitted an application for a patent to the blatantly obvious idea of designing a computer that consists of independently upgradeable modules - an idea as old as the IBM PC itself only this time the modules are wrapped in a sleek, drool-proof housing and interlocked using magnets rather than sockets.

The application can be found here and as I understand it the filing date for the application is January 5th 2015.

I hereby request the assistance of the community in debunking the 20 claims covered in this patent and would suggest as a point of reference the Industry Standard Architecture or alternatively the Lenovo Thinkpad Stack, which was revealed to the world on January 4th 2015 or possibly this IndieGoGo concept called the ICE xPC, which failed to receive funding on February 7th 2014.

Here is the first of the twenty(!) claims in the patent:

A computing device comprising: a display modular component including a housing, a display device physically and communicatively coupled to the housing via a hinge, and one or more display hardware elements disposed within the housing and configured to output a display for display the display device; and a computing modular component including a housing that is physically and communicatively coupled to the display modular component, a processing system disposed within the housing, and memory disposed within the housing, the processing system configured to execute instructions stored by the processing system to generate a user interface for display by the display device of the display modular component, the processing system and the memory being swappable within the housing of the computing modular component.

Here is a picture from the application to help people grasp the concept: Illustration from Microsoft's Patent Application

1 Answer 1


Going way back in time, there's also things like http://www.storiesofapple.net/the-jonathan-computer.html

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