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Microsoft building own smartphone for 2H09?

updated 12:50 pm EST, Thu February 5, 2009

MS May Have Own Smartphone

A research note today from Broadpoint AmTech claims that Microsoft is planning to release a smartphone of its own. Analysts Mark McKechnie and Rob Sandserson cite "multiple industry sources" who say a phone is the works that would be released in the second half of 2009 with the goal of tightly integrating hardware and software, much like Apple's iPhone or RIM's BlackBerry line. No other details are given outside of an additional note that backs previous rumors of the phone possibly using NVIDIA's Tegra chipset to provide advanced 3D and HD video support.

Rumors in the past have assumed any in-house phone would run on Windows Mobile 6.5 or 7 and would bring in elements from the Zune interface but in a more touchscreen-oriented design to give Windows Mobile an iPhone-like flagship product.

The belief in Microsoft's plans for a phone of its own would contradict repeated denials from company chief Steve Ballmer and other executives, who have maintained the official position that Microsoft would prefer to license Windows Mobile out to more experienced cellphone partners.

However, the Redmond, Washington-based firm has been increasing its involvement in hardware and is known for having abandoned its software-only strategy in the past. Zune players were introduced in late 2006 despite Microsoft's public commitment to Portable Media Center and the PlaysForSure protected music initiative, and ended up forcing companies like Toshiba out of advanced media players as well as ending music stores like MTV's Urge. Concerns have long existed that Microsoft might estrange itself from its closest Windows Mobile partners, such as HTC.

McKechnie and Sandserson share the sentiment and believe that a similar effect on market share would occur for smartphones as did for portable media players, where the Microsoft offering doesn't directly challenge incumbents like Apple and instead cannibalizes share from weaker competitors.

by MacNN Staff



  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    like nobody didn't see this coming.

    like balmer once said "Sometimes we get it right from the get-go. Sometimes the market is ready from the get-go, sometimes it's not. Sometimes we're first with a new innovation, sometimes we've got to come from behind, but we keep coming and coming and coming and coming."

    must be nice not to have to worry about a bottom line.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    couple o' things

    First, this is some notation from an analyst. Everyone says analysts don't know what they're talking about, so why should now be a difference.

    Second, there's a wonderful inference in the article that somehow Microsoft's Zune caused the closure of the MTV Urge store. How exactly can the Zune, labeled a flop, have forced down the Urge store? I would think 'Urge' closed down because it failed, not because of the Zune.

    Third, the same article 'blames' the Zune for Toshiba getting out of the "advanced media player" business. Exactly what is an "advanced media player", and did anyone actually know Toshiba was once in that business, and now is out of it?

  1. MeandmyMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I bet it will have...

    a icon based home screen, limited buttons, slide out keyboard unless Ballmer retracts his feelings of a smart phone without keyboard, an SDK for those that wish to create and sell apps on the MS app store, among other things... Anyone else care to chime in with their thoughts... Oh and I bet it will be a candy bar design in black with chrome trim...

  1. imactheknife

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The bomb

    Yet another microsoft failure.....Zune set the trend! when is MS going to get it? thier past failures like the Zune and Vista is going to make the new phone a failure before it is made...oh well...looks good on MS

  1. gikku

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Microsoft? Are they still kicking around?

  1. eddd

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They will definitely do this. And it will be the closest competitor to the iPhone yet. And it will be classic MS - a weak imitation designed by weak minds and praised by the same, such as the Enderlians. So it has always been, so it shall be. They'll pump serious resources into this, a 'la Xbox. But Apple is no Sony, and will remain far ahead.

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