“For a little more than a week, a team of Microsoft’s Silicon Valley software engineers has been examining the iPhone software development kit (SDK for short), a set of tools Apple released this month that let outsiders build software for the iPhone and the iPod touch. Microsoft executives aren’t sure yet whether they’ll find worthwhile opportunities to sell iPhone software – but they seem eager to find out,” Jon Fortt blogs for Fortune.

Fortt reports, “‘It’s really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone,’ Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Specialized Devices and Applications Group, told Fortune on Monday. ‘To the extent that Mac Office customers have functionality that they need in that environment, we’re actually in the process of trying to understand that now.'”

“The Mac unit’s work certainly isn’t charity – it delivers millions of dollars in profit for the company with its Mac version of the Office productivity suite,” Fortt repots. “Microsoft doesn’t break out exact numbers, but we can extrapolate: Gibbons said the Mac Business Unit provides about a third of the revenue for the Specialized Devices and Applications Group, which also includes Windows Embedded, Microsoft Hardware, the Automotive Business Unit and Microsoft Surface Computing; the whole group did more than $1 billion in sales last year. So it’s reasonable to guess that the Mac unit provided about $350 million – and since Gibbons said the Mac group was one of the group’s more profitable units, it’s possible that Microsoft made somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million in profit from Mac software.”

Full article here.

Why doesn’t Gibbons get his crack team of spaghetti coders to “try to understand” why they dropped Outlook for Macintosh, just can’t seem to code and release a new one, and can’t deliver feature parity on any of their other products? We’ll save them the effort: It’s because Microsoft wanted to force businesses to keep buying PCs instead of Macs; not on their own merits (because they lose badly), but by creating artificial lock-in. It’s the Microsoft way. And it worked — until Steve Jobs executed an end-around with Intel-powered Macs that could slum it with Windows when necessary.

So, same as with our Macs, we’ll install intentionally-hobbled Microsoft bloatware on our iPhones as soon as infinity rolls around, thanks.