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Microsoft buys Sidekick maker; Zune phone?

updated 10:40 am EST, Mon February 11, 2008

Microsoft Buys Danger

Microsoft today revealed that it was acquiring Danger Inc., triggering a shift in the mobile phone business. The deal's terms have not been disclosed but will see the smaller firm, best known for the software powering Sidekick messaging phones, folded into the Entertainment and Services Division at Microsoft. The buyout will help Microsoft enter the "consumer space" for phones and will simultaneously let Danger expand its partnerships to other companies. Neither firm has said when they expect the deal to be approved by US officials.

The acquisition revives talk of a possible Zune phone. Although Microsoft has previously denied any plans in the area, the Entertainment and Devices division is almost exclusively limited to consumer hardware such as the Xbox 360 game console and the Zune line of media players, with the bulk of Microsoft's mobile OS development taking root in its separate Windows Mobile project. Microsoft also already has Windows Live messaging features built into the Xbox 360's software interface, reducing the need for Danger's help.

A rumor early last year initially suggested that a Zune-branded phone would be available as early as December but has since been quashed, with only the second generation of Zune media players launching in the same timeframe.

Microsoft has increasingly turned to developing its own devices rather than following its past practices of licensing software to others. Although it had developed its PlaysForSure program to encourage the spread of Windows Media and fight the dominance of iTunes and the iPod, it introduced the Zune in November 2006 with a proprietary store and file format that ultimately forced the closure of MTV's URGE and other music stores that had expected cooperation rather than competition from Microsoft. The Zune players themselves are also believed to have taken share from PlaysForSure-capable devices rather than Apple.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    great!

    another Microsuck flop to come! Woo hoo!@

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    still undesirable

    Perhaps this potential Microsoft product will have the color of chewed Brussels sprouts instead of baby puke green or t*** brown...

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    monthly cut

    Danger also has a cut of the monthly service for its phones.

  1. Rezzz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    LOL

    once again, M$ plans to compete with its customers..

    question: will they make software options only available to the M$ branded phone and not their Win Mobile customers?

    answer: yes, of course!

    hahahahahahaaaa...

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005

    0

    love it ...

    Having learned nothing from Zune, the only marketsgare they will end up stealing is from their own Windows Mobile phones and licensees, further marginalizing their platform.

    By which time that their first such oriducy will be announced, Apple will be on generation 2.0 of the iPhone, and will have the first hints at diversifying the platform into different spaces - ie cheaper iPhones, with lesser, albeit different functionalities.

    Once Apple releases a series of under $200 iPhones, Microsoft will be announcing their $600 music phones :-)

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002

    0

    buying hip

    "Michael Gartenberg, analyst for Jupiter Research, said on his blog that news of Microsoft's acquisition was the "real excitement" of the first day of the Mobile World Congress.

    He added: "The T-Mobile SideKick has had moderate success in the US markets appealing to celebrities, sports figures and of course all the demographics that look up to these folks.

    "The SideKick had strong appeal as the anti-Blackberry for younger audiences and it will be really interesting to see how Microsoft integrates the technology, business model, and overall device cachet to a culture more at home to selling to enterprise CIOs than it is to selling rock stars."

    so they're buying hip? since they have no idea what cool or hip means i guess that's about the only way they'll get there.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    woz

    I wonder if Steve Wozniak will remain on Danger's board of advisors after this buyout.

    (oh yeah, MacNN, there *was* a mac-related angle to this story... so sorry you missed it)

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    0

    so sad

    doesn't Microsuck ever tire of perpetually following Apple's lead?

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    0

    poor quality copy machine

    Hey climacs, I think MS's secret slogan is: copy everything poorly

  1. gitcypher

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007

    0

    I was very impressed

    with the Android SDK. I'm still in the works for this 25K+ up for grabs with google's contest. Not really worried with the prototype shown here, because the SDK is so beautifully written. Amazing applications will be coming out for this phone left and right.. not to mention full integration with Google's own software apps, graphics with the abilitiy to run Quake, and everyone's favorite, FREE.

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