Microsoft has announced plans
to make a cell
phone geared towards social media, which it hopes will revitalize its
struggling strategy in the Apple- and Google-dominated cell phone
market. Code-named "Pink," the phone is being launched in partnership
with Verizon and Vodafone. Can Microsoft, more known for ubiquitous but
generic beige office machinery than for flashy gotta-have-it gadgets,
finally stake out some territory in the coveted high-end smart phone
- Microsoft Finally Gets Serious The Wall Street
Journal's Nick Wingfield says they're
sick of struggling. "Microsoft's new phones are the latest sign the
software maker is getting more deeply involved in the hardware side of
the mobile-phone business in a bid to create products that provide
smoother experiences for consumers," he writes. "Microsoft needs a boost
for its mobile business, which has suffered in recent years as its
operating system for smartphones was eclipsed by technologies like Apple
Inc.'s iPhone and devices that run Google's Android operating system."
They'll Look Like Gizmodo's John Herrman secures some leaked photos of early versions
of the phone. Click through to see the unusual design.
Design ComputerWorld's Matt Hamblen reports,
"Microsoft Corp.'s new cell phone, code-named Pink, will come in several
lively colors and two form factors: A clamshell that twists open and a
candy-bar shape. Both models are fashioned to please the young
social-networking crowd that Microsoft has so sorely failed to attract
in recent years.
- Touch-Screen with Media Focus CNET's Ina Fried writes, "The devices, code-named
Pure and Turtle, are both slider phones, each with a touch screen and
keyboard, a source told CNET ... These phones will offer lots of social
media as well as the Zune music service. The Sidekick, with its
Java-based operating system, were never very adept at media, but these
devices have a version of Windows Mobile inside, paving the way for the
- How They Can Innovate: Multitasking
BetaNews' Joe Wilcox insists of the
ability to run multiple applications at once, which many smart phones
lack, "I say it's a necessity." He explains, "Social media is perhaps the
most important case for why running background applications on
smartphones is necessary. The core functionality of any handset is
communications. ... Social sharing contextually extends the mobile
phone's core communications capabilities -- as did texting and
multimedia messaging earlier in the decade. Push-notifications aren't
enough. Sorry, Apple and Microsoft."
Business-Friendly Network World's Paul Krill counters the view
that this is a phone for kids. "Microsoft's revamped smartphone
operating system, and Silverlight, the company's rich Internet
application platform, might seem geared primarily to glitzy, for-fun
applications. But Microsoft observers see an enterprise business
application case for these two budding technologies." The media's "focus
on games and entertainment obscures the potential for business usage."
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