The Competition: On Pure Pink Turtles and Surface Tablets

So the Zune HD is out, Windows Mobile 6.5 is starting to come out, Windows Mobile 7 will come out end of next year, and all of this relates to project Pink and new rumors of device code-names Pure and Turtle, and a Surface-related tablet just how exactly?

Sigh. Microsoft is like that cousin that we just know could be great but somehow keeps getting turned around, lost, and otherwise just not-quite delivering on it's amazing potential. Imagine if they had one division, making one platform, and all that effort and integration went into delivering a killer XboxPhone in time for the holidays this year? And don't hate on us for saying that, even our sibling site WMExperts is pounding the integration drum.

Back in the real world, however, Microsoft is said to be using a 2-prong strategy, Windows Mobile 6.5 now to compete with Android, and Windows Mobile 7 next year to compete with the iPhone (which, if Apple keeps up with their own roadmap, will be on its 4th hardware revision and running iPhone OS 4.0 -- a moving target indeed).

The Zune HD meanwhile is positioned somewhere between the original and current iPod touch.

Microsoft is also rumored to be working on a tablet, based on their big-@$$ Surface table, to market against Apple's still unannounced iTablet/iPad. Surface uses infrared camera technology, and required a huge basin to house all that hardware, so no doubt this will be Surface in name only (because who wants a 4 foot thick tablet, right?)

And on top of that, Microsoft is still working on Project Pink, which is a giant unknown, except it might be using Danger (makers of the Sidekick, bought out by Microsoft), and might be a Microsoft phone (though Microsoft swears they aren't making a phone -- just like Steve Jobs said no one wanted video on an iPod).

Pure and Turtle would then be these Danger-developed, Sidekick-like handsets running Windows Mobile 7, with on-board Zune software to handle the media layer?

Yeah, we don't know either. Would that -- Sidekick hardware running WinMo7 and Zune HD interface -- be competitive with an 4th gen iPhone running iPhone 4.0?

We're only a year away from knowing....

[via WMExperts via 9to5mac]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

The Competition: On Pure Pink Turtles and Surface Tablets


I'd love to see a device that packed a real handheld gaming system on par with a PSP and a full-featured smartphone on par with the iPhone/Pre/HTC Hero. MS has the groundwork laid for such a device with the Zune HD, they need to drop a cell radio in that thing and start working on integration of a mobile Xbox. If there was an App Store that sold real gaming titles plus phone apps then that would be the ultimate device but they would have to make sure that both the phone side and the gaming side were really really solid. MS needs to integrate their lines like Apple does.

Microsoft definitely has their hands full on all of these.
If there was a phone that was much like the Zune HD interface (maybe a little more grid-like like the iPhone ;) ) and was actually a good piece of gadgetry, i'd be more than willing to get one.
It all comes down to the ease of use I've experienced with the Zune software, which the 4.0 software has taken it even higher with me.
I think the only thing that would hinder me would be the lack of a well rounded app store, but, like the iPhone, that sort of thing takes time and willing developers.

As for all of this tablet talk, and computer talk, I think it's high time for Microsoft to start creating it's own machine designed specifically around the it's OS rather than have 60 different companies designing 60 different pieces of hardware to create one machine. Much like Apple if you will lol

Heres why you'll never see a gaming xbox phone, and to quit asking for it. It fucking sucks. There is no market for it. Remember the Ngage from Nokia? Yeah it was garbage. People will not pay full fledged prices for games on a phone. Sorry thats the way it is. Sure you'll get small time people, or someone like Activision or SE, EA who will do mobile games, but they wont hold a breath to what PSP or DS or any future gaming handheld will do.
Take a look around. Sure i see lots of teens in college with iphones/blackberries/whatever. They make up a small portion of the smartphone community compared to those that are most likely in the later 20s+. These people arent playing games, and if they are, i dont see most people dropping ATLEAST 20 dollars for a halfway decent gaming title. Gaming has blown up on these phones because the iphone/touch has litteraly allowed indie devs who are maybe 10-15 man teams to charge from 99c to maybe 4.99 and if 20-30 thousand people download they've made a fortune, even if these games suck people dont care cause their 99c. People would care if a game cost 20-30 dollars, cause thats the price for a full blown portable game most devs charge for gaming specific platforms (that price could come down due to digital distribution...but what devloper/publisher wants to share 30% of their profits with Apple?)
Sure there is revenue to be had, and if there is then its a possibilty some will jump on it, but its not going to be Hideo Kojima, or Tetsuya Nomura jumping to develop full engrossing games for it.
As for Project Pink...have you heard the specs its supposed to have? It would be an extreme far cry from the Sidekick and more iphone. If anything it could be closer to a Pre with touchscreen and physical keyboard.

I'd definately like to see Microsoft whip out a phone, and a PC/Laptop range too. As for Windows Mobile, yuck - dump it and start again!

@TIPB knows...

Take a look around. Sure i see lots of teens in college with iphones/blackberries/whatever. They make up a small portion of the smartphone community compared to those that are most likely in the later 20s+.

Good guess. Or at least it was for 2008.
College kids have enough trouble paying for school and books, let alone expensive phone plans.
However, I suspect this is slowly changing, as iPhones is slowly gaining market share at Blackberry's expense.

I’d just like to remind everyone today is the last day of summer and I have yet to have MMS…that is all.

If microsoft's answer to the iPhone is a sidekick styled device then....yawn, whatever!!! I mean come on!! An inspector gadget loving, flip/rotating, all-over print phone, with mirrored chromed out twankle n glisn!!! Please pass on that mess. There is a reason the iphone's unibody is so popular. ________________ And I'll let anyone with one fill that blank. Microsoft would benefit from a ZuneHD exact replica with a built in phone. Similar to what? I don't know maybe the iPhone/iPod touch. Then add in winMo 10 because it would need that many advances in OS muscle to function side by side with the competition(less they prove us wrong). Then, and only then would they would have one sweet device. Otherwise as the saying goes "put lipstick on a pig and you still have a pig, polish a ... Well you get the point.