updated 07:00 pm EDT, Wed May 6, 2009
Microsoft Pink in trouble
Development delays have brought the unconfirmed Microsoft 'Pink' project to the brink of failure, according to ChannelWeb. The codename is said to represent a smartphone that is being developed in conjunction with Verizon to compete against devices such as the iPhone. Unnamed sources suggest the project originally aimed to integrate technology from Windows Mobile 7. Delays with Mobile 7 have allegedly put more workload on Pink developers to find alternative technology.
Microsoft earlier this month reportedly began taking bids for an ad campaign that would involve Zune-influenced handsets. 'Pink' was referred to as a mobile application, but it is believed to represent smartphones that integrate the company's music services along with particular design guidelines for the third-party manufacturers to follow.
If true, the issues could be an indication of larger problems with Microsoft's mobile endeavors. Late last year, Gartner data indicated that the iPhone outsold the entire range of Windows Mobile devices worldwide. Through the recent quarter, Apple's device showed a 123-percent year-over-year jump in shipments and contributed to the company's best non-holiday quarter ever.
Along with the iPhone, RIM's smartphones and Android-based devices have also taken leading ranks. A new study published by the NPD Group claims the best-selling phone line for the March quarter was the BlackBerry Curve series, with the iPhone falling in second. Three BlackBerries made the top five, along with the iPhone and T-Mobile G1, but the list lacked a Windows Mobile device.
Verizon declined to comment on the Pink story, while Microsoft did not provide any details on the project. "Microsoft's strategy has not changed; it is and has always been to provide a software platform for the industry," a company representative told ChannelWeb. "We work closely with many mobile operators and device makers around the world because customers want different experiences on a variety of phones."
While the company continues to work on the Pink project, Windows Mobile 6.5 is scheduled to finally launch on May 11th. Windows Mobile 7 is not expected to ship on smartphones before 2010, even if the OS is introduced late this year.