Microsoft showed off a new business phone which has an iPod-like scroll wheel:
Microsoft isn't making the hardware itself, though the scroll wheel is on a reference design jointly developed by Microsoft, Polycom and LG-Nortel. The Microsoft representative I talked with couldn't comment on the legal issues around the similarity, but assumes it must have passed muster.
In any case, the scroll wheel appears to work as well for navigating a long list of contacts as it does finding the right song from a huge music library.
Microsoft is showcasing devices from nine companies at the Windows Hardware and Engineering Conference, which takes place here this week. The future Microsoft shows is a neat one, in which the "business phone" morphs into any number of forms from a portable speaker phone to a monitor with built-in array microphone, speaker and high-quality Web cam.