Microsoft Pink-Zune details emerge alongside Windows Phone 7

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Six months after Microsoft's Danger subsidiary suffered a massive cloud services failure that lost data for its T-Mobile Sidekick users, new information has surfaced on the group's Pink Project, rumored to produce the "Zune phone" in parallel to the Windows Phone 7 Series.



New but blurry pictures of the Pink phones, rumored to be built by Sharp (the maker of Danger's Sidekick), have leaked on Gizmodo. A report from Reuters indicates that Microsoft will be launching Pink under its own brand name on Verizon Wireless later this year, much as Google recently launched the HTC-built Nexus One under its own brand with T-Mobile.



Speaking at the January Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft's Robbie Bach, who runs the company's struggling Entertainment & Devices Division, just finished seeding fears regarding Google's first party Nexus One branding while the search giant also tries to operate Android as a third party platform with its hardware partners.



?Doing both in the way they are trying to do both is actually very, very difficult,? Bach said. ?Google?s announcement sends a signal where they?re going to place their commitment. That will create some opportunities for us and we?ll pursue them."



Just two months later, Microsoft now appears to be following the very same strategy, launching Pink as its smartphone version of the Zune while also hoping to maintain its existing third-party smartphone platform with existing Windows Mobile licensees. As with the Zune however, it appears that Microsoft will attempt to partition Pink away from its Windows Phone platform, apparently even keeping them incompatible with each other's software, despite using the same Windows CE 7 operating system kernel.



Microsoft's drama within



Rivalry between the Pink and Windows Mobile groups within Microsoft was reportedly well underway last fall, although the full details only really leaked publicly once Microsoft's Danger subsidiary experienced its embarrassing cloud computing crisis while shifting its focus away from servicing its existing T-Mobile Sidekick subscribers and toward a future Pink deal with Verizon.



That data loss disaster dragged on for nearly a month before Sun and Oracle experts helped to recovered portions of Microsoft's improperly backed up data store of contacts, calendars, todos, photos and other information.







At the time, the problem appeared to be the last straw for Microsoft's Pink Project within the Premium Mobile Experiences group headed by Roz Ho. Pink was charged with reinventing the failed Windows Mobile 6 in a form that could compete with the iPhone, and was intended to do so independently from the team working on Windows Mobile 7 in parallel.



Last October, Greg Kumparak of MobileCrunch cited an anonymous source "with a seemingly exhaustive knowledge of Microsoft?s Project Pink" as describing the project as being in disarray, with "no braintrust that understands how to build a product."



Efforts to build a third party software platform and App Store for Pink were also in trouble, the tipster said, because "team members don?t know how to get it done," adding that remaining employees were complaining that they "hate the product" they were working on and felt like it was "never intended to ship," but that it only existed to "challenge [the Windows Mobile 7 team] and upset them into competing."



Microsoft Windows Phone 7 vs Microsoft Pink



Microsoft recently relaunched the future of Windows Mobile under the name "Windows Phone 7," which it hopes to ship as a product by the end of the year. After giving Apple a two year head start in establishing its wildly popular iTunes App Store for the iPhone, Microsoft is now in the position of Palm's struggling WebOS platform: attempting to start from scratch against Apple's mobile software platform with 140,000 apps, and installed base of more than 75 million devices, and an enthusiastic, profitable ecosystem of third party developers.



Similar to Palm, Microsoft has taken the route of deemphasizing mobile apps to instead focus on an experience that blurs together just the most popular web-centric features like Facebook and Twitter, while also directing attention toward Microsoft's own Bing search and Zune media player properties.







This is an interesting departure from the company's historic focus on "developers, developers, developers," because in the mobile business, Microsoft will be rendering its entire existing library of Windows Mobile apps obsolete, along with their stylus-centric user interface and Windows-branded conventions such as the Start Menu.



Microsoft hopes its developers will start over from scratch using its more modern .NET and XNA development tools, a strategy that hasn't worked so far on the Zune HD, which offers the same third party development environment but isn't gaining any real traction with developers because the hardware isn't selling in enough volume to create a viable software market. Not even Microsoft is creating significant software for the Zune HD.



Microsoft: if we can't create a viable market, mobile apps just don't matter



Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 initiative also signals the death of its existing Windows Mobile Marketplace, which the company scrambled to assemble and deploy last year in order to have something to compete with Apple's iPhone App Store.



Microsoft began charging developers $99 to list each of their existing Windows Mobile apps in the new store, but plummeting sales of Windows Mobile phones aborted any prospects for the desolate mobile software marketplace. Last fall, Microsoft?s chief software architect Ray Ozzie claimed that smartphone platforms and their number of available mobile apps don't really matter because "all the apps that count will be ported to every one of them." But even well-heeled app developers like Google have announced "we're not rich enough to support RIM" and every other proprietary smartphone platform available.



At the same time, customers apparently see mobile apps as being very valuable, particularly the games and other utilities that Apple is touting in its iPhone and iPod touch commercials. Apple is also highlighting its iPhone OS software platform as a key element of the company's iPad strategy, along with the new iBook Store. Developers have rushed to cash in on the opportunity afforded them by iTunes' App Store, which is unrivaled by any other smartphone or mobile device platform.



The collapse of its Windows Mobile Marketplace has now caused Microsoft to radically reword its mobile app strategy going forward in such a way as to vilify the entire concept of apps. At the launch of Windows Phone 7, the company presented a video that portrayed the iPhone's ability to run mobile apps as a confusing world with too many doors to choose from, each leading to rooms with starkly white walls, an experience that frustrated and puzzled a professionally dressed woman.



That idea is particularly ironic given the company's adamant presentation that choice was paramount when choosing a PlaysForSure media player or music store, or when touting the applications available on Windows PCs, or when shopping for a smartphone among the licensees of its now defunct Windows Mobile platform.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 120
    dis news for windows insider not for appleinsider..... :P
  • Reply 2 of 120
    iguesssoiguessso Posts: 132member
    An obituary for an unborn product.
  • Reply 3 of 120
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    So MS will have Zune Phone (WinCE 7), Windows Phone 7 Series (WinCE 7), and WIndows Mobile Classic (WinCE 6)? \





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...and installed base of more than 75 million devices...



    This isn't accurate. They've sold 75M iPhone OS-based devices as of the last earning's report, but that isn't the installed base. Surely it's lower than 75M. qualifying it with "up to" or "possible" would be technically accurate.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palimatix View Post


    dis news for windows insider not for appleinsider..... :P



    I think news of direct competition to Apple products are worthy topics on this site.
  • Reply 4 of 120
    I found a solution for myself by not being a Microsoft customer. But society would be much better off if MS did a better job. They are a sad, sad, company. It's shocking there has not been a shake-up there. Balmer should be the first to go.
  • Reply 5 of 120
    avidfcpavidfcp Posts: 381member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    So MS will have Zune Phone (WinCE 7), Windows Phone 7 Series (WinCE 7), and WIndows Mobile Classic (WinCE 6)? \







    This isn't accurate. They've sold 75M iPhone OS-based devices as of the last earning's report, but that isn't the installed base. Surely it's lower than 75M. qualifying it with "up to" or "possible" would be technically accurate.







    I think news of direct competition to Apple products are worthy topics on this site.



    Like I've mentioned a few time, they that allow steaming tv ala ABC Lost, Heroes, "V and so on will do well. Also it's interesting that Microsoft put the hammer down and said we are in control, you can't just add what you want is a good step. Plus if you know how to program xbox games and one other, you can already program for this phone.



    That said. I went over to YouTube since we still don't have flash (unless you JB), and noticed some of the lettering goes off the side of the screen and I have to ask, why? Sure we know what it says but why not make it so you can see all the text instead of Febru for "Things in Febru"? Regarless it looks cool. I assume this OS will end up on the courier or some other slate device and am quite impressed with how they are locking down and tonprogram all you have to do is know how to program with xbox and one other and has restrictions on hardware specs. Keeping all the Chinese from creating 10,000 different phones and specs.



    Still, I see whomever gets streaming and fast to watch TV on your device will

    do

    well!!!



    Again.

    Can't wait to try out courier ans ipadaae

    FREE
  • Reply 6 of 120
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post


    I found a solution for myself by not being a Microsoft customer. But society would be much better off if MS did a better job. They are a sad, sad, company. It's shocking there has not been a shake-up there. Balmer should be the first to go.



    Yeah, it's amazing that they have been screwing up on all fronts for so long and no one has even brought up the subject of firing Balmer yet. A great many better CEO's have been let go sooner over performance that wasn't half as bad.
  • Reply 7 of 120
    capnbobcapnbob Posts: 388member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    So MS will have Zune Phone (WinCE 7), Windows Phone 7 Series (WinCE 7), and WIndows Mobile Classic (WinCE 6)? \







    This isn't accurate. They've sold 75M iPhone OS-based devices as of the last earning's report, but that isn't the installed base. Surely it's lower than 75M. qualifying it with "up to" or "possible" would be technically accurate.







    I think news of direct competition to Apple products are worthy topics on this site.



    Typically I would agree that sales does not equal installed base but in the case of the iPhone/iTouch the numbers are much more congruent. Lots of people who bought 1g versions have handed them down to kids, moms etc. since most are still fully functional (even with weakening batteries). Obviously this will decline over time but the sales curve is such that only a very few milions of the 75 are even 2 yrs old yet.
  • Reply 8 of 120
    bartfatbartfat Posts: 433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This isn't accurate. They've sold 75M iPhone OS-based devices as of the last earning's report, but that isn't the installed base. Surely it's lower than 75M. qualifying it with "up to" or "possible" would be technically accurate.



    Wait, what? So you're telling me that iPod touch and iPhone sales don't imply that the devices come with iPhone OS preinstalled? Now, that might not cover iPhone 3.0's install base, but the author just mentioned iPhone OS in general, so I think that's a valid assumption to make.



    Yea and guy above me with a valid point too
  • Reply 9 of 120
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Capnbob View Post


    Typically I would agree that sales does not equal installed base but in the case of the iPhone/iTouch the numbers are much more congruent. Lots of people who bought 1g versions have handed them down to kids, moms etc. since most are still fully functional (even with weakening batteries). Obviously this will decline over time but the sales curve is such that only a very few milions of the 75 are even 2 yrs old yet.



    I addressed that possibility in my posting. If we consider we're less than 4 weeks from closing out the quarter and another 15M iPhone OS-based devices were sold then it's possible that the installed could be 75M, but being a possibility doesn't make it so.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bartfat View Post


    Wait, what? So you're telling me that iPod touch and iPhone sales don't imply that the devices come with iPhone OS preinstalled? Now, that might not cover iPhone 3.0's install base, but the author just mentioned iPhone OS in general, so I think that's a valid assumption to make.



    ¿Que? Installed base does not equate to all unit sales ever, it's specifically defined as units in use. Since not all iPhone OS-based devices are still in use the unit sales and units in use number cannot be same.
  • Reply 10 of 120
    finetunesfinetunes Posts: 2,065member
    Comparing MS and Apple, MS can't get their act together and Apple is more focused. MS needs a major shake up staring from the top. Maybe Apple, Pixar and Disney can buy MS??
  • Reply 11 of 120
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FineTunes View Post


    Comparing MS and Apple, MS can't get their act together and Apple is more focused. MS needs a major shake up staring from the top. Maybe Apple, Pixar and Disney can buy MS??



    MS is a very profitable company. It looks like Apple may outpace their quarterly revenue within a year, but when you consider the amount of profit SW makes over HW you see that Apple has a very, very long way to go before catching up to MS' profit. That is just to catch up, not anything to do with being able to buy them, which wouldn't happen even if Nixon gave Apple a check for all the money on the Earth.
    January 28, 2010 Microsoft Corp. today announced record revenue of $19.02 billion for the second quarter ended Dec. 31, 2009, a 14% increase from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $8.51 billion, $6.66 billion and $0.74 per share, which represented increases of 43%, 60% and 57%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.
    January 25, 2010 Apple® today announced financial results for its fiscal 2010 first quarter ended December 26, 2009. The Company posted revenue of $15.68 billion and a net quarterly profit of $3.38 billion, or $3.67 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $11.88 billion and net quarterly profit of $2.26 billion, or $2.50 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 40.9 percent, up from 37.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 58 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
  • Reply 12 of 120
    jon tjon t Posts: 131member
    "Maybe Apple, Pixar and Disney can buy MS?"



    And do what with it? Microsoft has become an irreconcilable, irreversible, idiotic joke.
  • Reply 13 of 120
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,661member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    Yeah, it's amazing that they have been screwing up on all fronts for so long and no one has even brought up the subject of firing Balmer yet. A great many better CEO's have been let go sooner over performance that wasn't half as bad.





    While Balmer is a good manager and businessman, he is no technology visionary. Ray Ozzie is heading up the vision department for MS. Microsoft has been hurt badly by antitrust issues, so much that they are even trying to get Google in trouble with the European Union. The important thing for Balmer is that MS is still making large profits in a tough economy.



    MS is correctly focusing on the corporate world for the immediate future and fighting Google on that front. I think they will beat Google there for the foreseeable future. I think Apple will rule the Mobile computing world and will beat Google there as well. Google needs to be careful and focus or they could get whacked by Microsoft and Apple. Google is still largely a one trick pony that is far from being invincible.



    You may see some Microsoft applications for the iPad when it succeeds in the corporate world. As long as there is profit for MS, Balmer will do it.



    Time will tell.
  • Reply 14 of 120
    jon tjon t Posts: 131member
    solipsism says MS is a very profitable company.



    Let's just think about that profitability which you praise. In fact it is not praiseworthy, because MS is a company grown hugely fat on the Windows/Office 'tax' revenue stemming from its 90's monopoly, nothing else.



    It cannot innovate, cannot create products people want (versus feel they have to have), nor can it improve on anything it does already have without simply turning on the famous Redmond photocopiers.



    And at this moment a 30% increase in APPL market cap will have it equal that of MSFT. And that will happen in 2010.
  • Reply 15 of 120
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    First I went "What is Microsoft thinking?"



    Then I realized this is Microsoft.



    Who else would cook up such a ridiculous idea?
  • Reply 16 of 120
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jon T View Post


    solipsism says MS is a very profitable company.



    Yes I did.



    Quote:

    Let's just think about that profitability which you praise.



    No I didn't.



    Factually balanced comments does not equate to extolment.



    Quote:

    And at this moment a 30% increase in APPL market cap will have it equal that of MSFT. And that will happen in 2010.



    I've been envisioning that possibility for some time now, but I think 2011 is more likely. Regardless, a greater valuation does not alter any facts I have stated or make MS "buyable". When this does happen, MS will still likely be making record YoY sales and will certainly be netting more profit per quarter than Apple. A little objectivity goes a long way.
  • Reply 17 of 120
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    It seems to me that the problem with MS is that they are a number of near autonomous companies that are allowed to compete with or even sabotage one another. Projects are killed, curtailed or crippled based on whichever internal group has the most clout.



    Apparently the Entertainment and Devices people have managed to get some power, but not enough to just step up and run the Mobile OS effort. I'm sure that the people tasked with "business users" consider the "Zune people" to be juvenile and actively work to undermine their efforts. The extent to which WinMo 7 looks Zune-ish is likely just an artifact of whichever graphic design house MS is contracting with at the moment.



    This is so starkly in contrast with Apple, where everybody works for the same boss towards the same end. Can anyone imagine the iPad project being in any way compromised because it stepped on the toes of the desktop OS X people?
  • Reply 18 of 120
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,661member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jon T View Post


    solipsism says MS is a very profitable company.



    Let's just think about that profitability which you praise. In fact it is not praiseworthy, because MS is a company grown hugely fat on the Windows/Office 'tax' revenue stemming from its 90's monopoly, nothing else.



    It cannot innovate, cannot create products people want (versus feel they have to have), nor can it improve on anything it does already have without simply turning on the famous Redmond photocopiers.



    And at this moment a 30% increase in APPL market cap will have it equal that of MSFT. And that will happen in 2010.



    You obviously do not know much about Microsoft product. Take a look below or go to microsoft.com and click on all products to read up on them.



    Microsoft writes some of the best business software in the world. Ever heard of Exchange and Active Directory? These two pieces of software alone are the best of their kind and run in virtually every corporation in the world. It is not easy to manage all of this and be profitable in this economy. Microsoft is a respectable, profitable american company and the whole world should be grateful for it's existence.



    Most Popular

    ..........Bing

    ..........Bing cashback

    ..........Internet Explorer

    ..........Microsoft Advertising

    ..........Microsoft Security Essentials

    ..........Office

    ..........Windows

    ..........Windows Live



    Business Software

    ..........Bing Maps

    ..........Microsoft Amalga

    ..........Microsoft Dynamics Products

    ..........Microsoft Forefront

    ..........Microsoft Office Live

    ..........Microsoft Online Services

    ..........Windows Essential Business Server

    ..........Windows Small Business Server



    Design & User Experience

    ..........Microsoft Expression

    ..........Microsoft Silverlight



    Developer Tools

    ...........NET Framework

    ..........ASP.NET

    ..........MSDN Subscriptions

    ..........Robotics Developer Studio

    ..........Visual Basic

    ..........Visual C

    ..........Visual C#

    ..........Visual Studio

    ..........XNA



    Entertainment

    ..........DirectX

    ..........Microsoft Mediaroom

    ..........MSN

    ..........MSN Games

    ..........MSNBC

    ..........PC Gaming

    ..........Windows Media Center

    ..........Xbox Home

    ..........Xbox Live

    ..........Zune



    Hardware

    ..........All PC Hardware

    ..........Digital Communications

    ..........Microsoft Surface

    ..........Mouse & Keyboard Products

    ..........PC Gaming Hardware

    ..........Xbox Gaming

    Home & Educational Software

    ..........AutoCollage

    ..........Healthvault

    ..........Money

    ..........MSN Direct

    ..........MSN Internet Access

    ..........Office Home & Student

    ..........Songsmith

    ..........Streets & Trips

    ..........Windows Home Server

    ..........Windows Live OneCare

    ..........Works

    ..........WorldWide Telescope



    Macintosh

    ..........All Macintosh Products

    ..........Mac Expression

    ..........Mac Mouse & Keyboard Products

    ..........Mac Office



    Mobile Devices & Software

    ..........Microsoft My Phone

    ..........Microsoft Tag

    ..........Mobile Software Catalog

    ..........Ultra-Mobile PC

    ..........Windows Phone

    ..........Windows Mobile Devices



    Servers

    ..........All Server Products

    ..........BizTalk Server

    ..........Exchange Server

    ..........Server Trials

    ..........SharePoint Server

    ..........SQL Server

    ..........TechNet Subscriptions

    ..........Windows Server
  • Reply 19 of 120
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,664member
    Holy God, dude, just cutting and pasting a list of every piece of software MS makes doesn't make any kind of point, unless you want us all to contemplate some of the terrible items on that list, or the ones that are obvious "me too" products that have never come close to competing.



    Or maybe we're to attend to the topic headers like "all Mac software" or "all hardware." I mean, at least you could pick out some of the ones you actually think are good.
  • Reply 20 of 120
    giosacconegiosaccone Posts: 121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palimatix View Post


    dis news for windows insider not for appleinsider..... :P



    Ahahah!! I agree!
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