Microsoft is not the only company to show interest in monitoring technologies: a new patent in this area has been recently registered by Apple. It describes a parental control technology intended for mobile devices.
Drafting and approval of this patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office went on for two years — specifically, from 2008, when the original patent application was submitted.
The described technology is essentially an application capable of blocking outbound and inbound messages (SMS and email) containing obscene words (mostly of the sexual nature). Depending on the settings, these messages can be modified, deleted, saved for review by parents or forwarded directly to them.
Unwanted content is detected with the help of a database of dictionaries that also take into account the actual age of the child and the level of his/her personal development. Word abbreviations and intentional word distortions will also be detected and intercepted.
It is still unclear if such an application will ever be included into one of the future firmware updates of iPhone, but this is quite a possibility.