Okay, so I normally try to stay away from the speculation and conjecture about products that are supposedly coming out… BUT I just happened to stumble upon some information this morning that was just too good to pass up. I obviously can’t tell you who my source is… we’ll just say a little birdie told me… but rest assured I wouldn’t be posting it if I wasn’t 100% confident in the person telling me. Take that for what it’s worth.
Let’s start from the top. Since the Feb 2008 acquisition of Danger (creator of the Sidekick device) by Microsoft Corporation, the internet has been much abuzz about the possibility of a “Microsoft Phone” or Microsoft branded device… much the way Google is running with its new Nexus One device. These rumors were further substantiated late last year when sketches, spec sheets, and finally product images were leaked to the internet (above images from Gizmodo). In the middle of all this we’ve learned from Engadget and Gizmodo that Microsoft’s code name for the project is, bizzarely, “Pink”.
So what’s the skippy?
Microsoft’s Pink project has developed two devices according to rumors on Gizmodo and Engaget and others; one targeting the younger crowd and one for the older crowd. The aptly named “Turtle” (pictured left above) will be initially targeted towards the Sidekick crowd, and apparently resembles a pack of birth control pills… not sure what they’re going for there. This device is rumored to be slightly smaller than the Palm Pre… so yeah… birth control pills. The “Pure” (pictured right above) is being geared more towards the Droid and iPhone users. Both feature slide out keyboards and touch screens. My source would not confirm this other than to state that the pictured devices were early design mock ups which may or may not resemble the devices that are in development. Early speculation was that HTC would be manufacturing the phone, although it seems logical now that Sharp may actually be building them… but at this point we just don’t know. As for carriers, my source was tight lipped, but I’m going to take a guess that T-Mobile and Telstra would be logical starter carriers; this is purely speculation on my part though.
According to internet rumors the devices will be part of the launch platform for Windows 7 Mobile Edition. My source would neither confirm nor deny, only to state that obviously these devices will not be running on Gekko/NetBSD like their Sidekick cousins. This means that both phones will have all the features you’ve come to know and love from WinMo, like easy Exchange Server synchronization for your corporate email, etc. Also in the works are several SaaS (software as a service) type apps which may or may not be running on Microsoft’s Azure platform (I got the big “no comment” on that one)… unfortunately though my source wouldn’t give me any hints as to what functionality they would bring to the party. We’ll have to see on that one. I’m going to go ahead and say this will be yet another “iPhone killer”. Development on these phones is currently wrapping up, so the thought is that they’ll be available in 4 to 6 months.
Why Pink, and what the heck is #TMD?
Okay so now for the fun part… and this my source felt comfortable commenting on since "the truth is so strange and at the same time mundane as to not be believable anyway." Along the way there has been lots of speculation about the project code name, “Pink”, and what it could stand for. As usual, people’s imaginations tend to run a little crazy and they forgot to keep it simple… the code name “Pink”, my source tells me, is actually the SVP of the project’s favorite color and recording artist. Yeah, I know… you were hoping for something a little deeper, right? Something else that has been under a lot of speculation is the Danger team’s popular Twitter hashtag of #TMD or #TMDP (as a matter of fact, engadget.com posted an article about this just yesterday). So what’s it stand for??? Well… apparently this same SVP’s favorite movie is ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’; and so TMD stands for *drum roll*…. Truly, Madly, Deeply and Truly, Madly, Deeply / Pink. Again, I know… you were hoping for something a little more interesting. While we’re on the topic of the engadget.com article, my source also tells me that their hypothesis about these new tweets from “danger” being from a “Pink” device is speculative at best. Microsoft has been careful to strip that sort of identifying information out of the devices. Whether or not the tweets are coming from these new gadgets they wouldn’t tell me.
That’s all for now… but you know how I love phones, so you can bet I’ll be all over these as soon as I can get my hands on one. Stay tuned!
– Dan Thompson