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Microsoft branded phones, tablet real after all?

updated 09:40 am EDT, Mon September 21, 2009

Microsoft Pure, Turtle and tablet rumors

Microsoft's Pink project for its own, self-branded smartphones has gained credibility through a series of leaks in recent hours. Veteran observer Mary Jo Foley maintains the project is real and will provide a software overlay for Windows Mobile 7 with a strong focus on services, most likely involving the Zune Video Marketplace as well as a possible Zune Pass music subscription. One or more stand a chance of being previewed at CES in January, but the OS itself isn't due until the second half of 2010.

Added details that surfaced this weekend point to two models headlining the month. The Pure seen by 9 to 5 Mac would be a conventional slider design while the Turtle (pictured in outline) would be a square, vertical slider not unlike the Motorola Hint. Both would take advantage of Microsoft's buyout of Sidekick creator Danger and would be made by Danger's frequent hardware partner sharp, with "Microsoft+Sharp" branding on the back. They would use a Sidekick-like app store with carrier billing, although whether or not the Windows Marketplace for Mobile would sit alongside it isn't clear.

It's suspected that all Pink-based phones may have to follow a hardware guideline and initially focus on high-end media phones using advanced processors like the NVIDIA Tegra or Texas Instruments' OMAP models.

Additionally, Microsoft is now poised to get back into tablet devices in earnest with one of its own. The project is seen by Foley as being built under an "Alchemy Ventures" group and being headed up both by members of the Surface team as well as former Xbox and Zune team leader J Allard. Few details are available, but it may involve a specific product as 9 to 5 has heard of a tablet being in a "late prototype stage" rather than just Microsoft's past approach of simply modifying Windows to add tablet support for others' computers. When and with what features the tablet would ship are still uncertain.

Both the phone and tablet efforts represent an attempt to reverse course for Microsoft, whose Windows Mobile has lost market share in phones to much newer platform entries like Android and iPhone. It has also focused most of its tablet efforts so far on adding multi-touch to Windows 7 for conventional tablet PCs rather than a dedicated device. Producing one of the latter might put it into direct competition with a rumored Apple tablet that may use the iPhone OS.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    0

    I thought nearly everyone was in

    agreement that tablets were a waste of time for the masses. So, why would Microsoft be interested in producing a tablet that would supposedly only have a tiny bit of market share for mobile users. It would seem that MS should just be focusing on their mobile phones for the time being. A weak mobile platform is going to stay that way, no matter how many various devices they produce. I guess Microsoft doesn't want to give any room for Apple to just walk away with a mobile platform that offers little competition.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +2

    is there anything Apple does

    that Microsoft DOESN'T try to copy?

    Well if nothing else, this should be plenty of fodder for amusement as we watch Microsoft fail in yet another market.

  1. climacs

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +2

    ok LuckyDay

    here's your chance to tell off all of us Apple fanbois about how Microsoft is going to totally pwn Apple in tablet computing.

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    +3

    Microsoft doesn't copy code name

    One thing we can be sure of. Microsoft doesn't copy Apple code names. Proof. "Pink" "Turtle".. Pink? Turtle? Turtle??????? hahahaha

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +4

    Dream Team!

    Wow, the team Microsoft has assembled from all their massively successful hardware ventures... Surface, Xbox and Zune! It reads like a list from the Hall of Failure.

    Clearly, the iPhone/iPod touch platform doesn't stand a chance stacked up against them!

    XBox would be long dead and forgotten had MS not poured BILLIONS into keeping it afloat. I can't believe MS is trying yet another "tablet platform". How many times have they failed at that before?

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002

    +2

    easy there

    kids. this is just more "innovation". a company this innovative can't be stopped.

    in⋅no⋅va⋅tion
    1. something new or different introduced.
    2. the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.
    3. a company that pours countless billions into losing projects to gain market share.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Re: oh luckyday

    here's your chance to tell off all of us Apple fanbois about how Microsoft is going to totally pwn Apple in tablet computing.

    It isn't hard. There are many a tablets running MS Windows. There are no tablets running any flavor of OS X. And no one even really knows if Apple is even coming out with a tablet (esp. an actual tablet computer, not just some stupid oversized iPod Touch).

    So far, MS has kicked Apple's butt in tablet computing.

  1. nat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Mar 2002

    +4

    and there were

    many phones running windows mobile. you could say before the iphone ms was kicking apple's butt in the cell phone market.

    what a ridiculous argument.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: and there were

    Um, they were kicking Apple's butt in the cell phone market. I believe the sales number would indicate that Apple had NO cell phone presence up to June 2007.

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006

    +1

    By testudo's logic

    - Whole Foods is kicking Apple's butt in the grocery business
    - Toyota is kicking Apple's butt in the car biz
    - Facebook is totally spanking Apple in the social media platform race.

    Poor Apple.

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