Monday, February 11, 2008

Danger, Danger, Will Gates

News today that Microsoft has just bought Danger (creator of the Sidekick phone/PDA). I've never owned a Sidekick (apparently it is the only device I have not owned a version of) - but I know that there was a fairly large group of people that are/were big fans. I don't see them around as much as I used to though... I'm not sure if maybe I'm not the target demographic or whether their sales have tailed off due to increased competition.

Either way, it was Microsoft's Xbox/Zune/Windows Mobile group that drove this acquisition.... so you've got to figure this is the first step in a rush-to-market iPhone competitor. Besides the fact that it just seems like another reactionary "how do we keep up with the Joneses" move, it also once again directly pits Microsoft against their licensees. This is far from the first time they have done this... most recently, this was the shift taken by the same group when they realized that their PlaysForSure/Windows Media Player storefront strategy wasn't working. When none of their PlaysForSure partners (CinemaNow, Napster, Rhapsody, FYE, AOL MusicNow, etc.) could mount a truly competitive offering against Apple, they (MS) went back to the trenches and said.... "ok, let's do what Apple has done and see if we can beat them at their own game".

In mobile phones, the tack was to license Windows Mobile to be the de facto standard of mobile device operating systems. The good news... they managed to kill Palm. The bad news.... Apple and Nokia not so much. So, what about a Zune-phone? I'm skeptical, but I'll be interested to see how it unfolds.

Oh yeah, there is actually another device that I just thought of that I have never owned.... a Zune.

1 comment:

Josef said...

amazing how often this market 'flips' esp when the tech cost 2-5 bones.

'people' who ride the bus in NYC still have them.

I had dinner with a friend last night who was working her treo that I thought was h.s. 18 months ago. I've seen the battle between the treo, the curve, the sidekick and I now own an iphone.