mandag 5. april 2010

Microsoft to unveil Project Pink phones at “mystery” press event

Microsoft  this morning sent out invitations to a mysterious press event set for April 12. Speculation initially ran wild as to the nature of the event, but we’ve since learned that Microsoft is planning to use it to finally unveil its Project Pink phones — which are separate from its upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices — according to sources who spoke to CNet.
The invitation came in the form of a circular package that boldly stated “it’s time to share” — so it makes sense that Microsoft is using the event to push the youth-focused Project Pink phones. We previously reported in early March that Microsoft was planning to bring the phones to Verizon.
To recap: Project Pink was rumored to be an attempt by Microsoft to recapture the glory of Danger’s Sidekick device, which was incredibly popular among young people. Microsoft purchased Danger in 2008, and since we’ve yet to see anything fruitful come from that union, it wasn’t difficult to imagine that they were working on something covertly.
According to the Microsoft source, the company will officially reveal the Project Pink phones that have been making their rounds on the web since last year. Code-named Turtle (pictured above) and Pure (pictured below), the phones will both feature slide-out keyboards and touch screens. The Pink phones won’t run the same operating system as the  Windows Phone 7 devices — even though they’re both based on the Windows CE core, which Microsoft has relied on for mobile devices for some time — so don’t expect software to be compatible between the two platforms.
Microsoft is positioning the Pink phones as complimentary to Windows Phone 7. It’s aiming for the Pink devices to fill the niche that the Sidekick has historically held with connected teenagers. Instead of focusing on instant messaging and texting like the Sidekick, the Pink phones will be built for social media services like Twitter and Facebook. Microsoft will also include Zune services in the phones as well — so they will likely connect to Windows PCs with the Zune software, and will have full access to the Zune Marketplace.
As I’ve written previously, I think Microsoft is offering too little too late with Project Pink. While Sidekicks were popular years ago, now teenagers have more mature smartphone platforms to jump on like iPhone and Android. Had Microsoft been quicker about getting these phones out after its Danger acquisition, it might have had a fighting chance.
Moving forward with a Sidekick-esque device today just demonstrates how out of touch the company is with mobile trends — which is particularly surprising since what we’ve learned about Windows Phone 7 seems to show the opposite.
[Images via Gizmodo]

Tags: Project Pink, Windows Phone 7
Companies: microsoft

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