Microsoft

The Competition: Microsoft "is so!" Making a Pink Zune Phone to Take on the iPhone?

Despite frequent, repeated denials from Microsoft that they aren't making a Zune Phone to pit against Apple's iPhone juggernaut, our sibling site WMExperts keeps compiling evidence that Microsoft might be doing just that.

The latest is that Pink (as it's code-named) has an ad agency, will be based on Windows Mobile 7 but have it's own proprietary UI layer, should be available next year-ish, and provide Zune, My Phone, and Windows Marketplace for Mobiles functionality.

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Where Was Windows Mobile at WWDC 2009?

In a write up nonchalantly titled "Lies, damn lies, statistics, and Apple...", our good friend Phil Nickinson over at sister-site WMExperts rightly points out that Apple gave Windows Mobile a full on shunning during the WWDC 2009 keynote:

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Microsoft Announces iPod touch Zune HD!

So, two and a half years ago Microsoft released what was basically their version of the 2005 video iPod. Now, some two years after Apple released the iPod touch, WMExperts (via Engagdet and CNET) tells us Microsoft has confirmed... the Zune HD, a wide screen, capacitive, solid-state media player.

At 272x480, it's not quite as wide as the iPhone's 360x480, much less the high-end Windows Mobile handsets like the Touch HD's 480x800. But like we said, it is capacitive (which is strangely still unsupported by WinPho) and what pixels it has are OLED, which will hopefully motivate Apple to give the next generation iPhone the same treatment.

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Ford Sync to Support iPhone Voice Interaction?

Microsoft produces Windows, the operating system of choice for most iPhone users, and Exchange ActiveSync, the push data system Apple (and Google!) have licensed for business users. They also make Sync, the integration system found in Ford cars, which has just gotten an update.

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Microsoft Says iTunes Costs $30K to Fill an iPod? Ars Says ZunePass Costs $45K!

Okay, if you buy an empty iPod Classic, have never owned a CD or bought a piece of music in your life, and are determine to immediately fill that 120GBs to the brim, then $30K iTunes will cost you.

However, if you've already got a sizable CD collection, or music collection of any kind -- even your own compositions -- or want to carry around class lectures or other forms of audio or -- hey -- video maybe, well, it can cost much, much less. Maybe even less than the $15 a month Microsoft would rather you cough up to them for a ZunePass subscription.

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Microsoft iClones Apple App Store Restrictions?

We love many things about the iPhone. Most things even. One of the few things we're not so chuffed about is the weird, wacky restrictions Apple places on App Store apps, and the sometimes haphazard way in which those restrictions are applied.

So, one edge we thought the other platforms might have would be the relative openness of their competing app stores. Turns out maybe not so much. How so? Our buddy Phil Nickinson over on WMExperts spent his weekend scouring through Microsoft's Windows Marketplace for Mobile restrictions, and at first blush they appear at least as crazy as Apple's:

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Microsoft Head of Xbox BI and Strategy Leaving for... Apple?

MVC (via MacRumors) is claiming that Microsoft's head of Xbox Business Insights and Strategy, Richard Teversham, is leaving to join Apple.

With the unbelievable success of iPhone and iPod touch gaming, could Apple finally be taking the space seriously? Or could this be part of some bigger move, one involving those chipset buyouts, licenses, and hires we recapped earlier? Could Apple be working on...

... A Pippin Take 2?

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Attack of the iClones: No ZunePhone but... ZunePod touch HD?

Personally, I still think Microsoft's only hope at this point is an XboxPhone, but what do I know, I don't run the largest, richest, most talent-laden software company in the world... that runs itself, and everything it produces, into the ground due to paralyzing politics and committee. So, excuse me if I'm nonplussed by the rumors of a new Zune HD, which while not an iPhone clone, or even an iPod classic or nano clone, looks to be positioned exactly opposite the iPod touch. A strategy which has proven so successful for Microsoft thus far...

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Microsoft Office Coming (Eventually) to the iPhone?

We seen both mobile players, QuickOffice and Docs2Go announce upcoming Word and Excel editing suites for the iPhone, but rumors of the king of the desktop doc jungle, Microsoft itself, entering the space remain just that: rumors. For now. TechCrunch has the latest:

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Microsoft & Nokia CEOh-Snap: iPhone Should Be More Open! AT&T: Then Why Keep Copying It?

UPDATED: Daring Fireball nails it. Closed or open, the smartphone industry was stagnating before the iPhone...

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