Microsoft to attempt to kill Apple with ‘Pink’ Zunefone, Windows ‘Surface’ tablet?

“Project Pink and the rumored remake of a Microsoft Tablet are back on the rumor treadmill this weekend,” Mary Jo Foley blogs for ZDNet. “It’s been quiet out there lately on both fronts. Here’s a recap — plus a couple of small updates — that I’ve heard recently about these two skunk-works efforts.”

“Pink: Yes, it’s a Microsoft-branded (but not Microsoft-manufactured) phone. Yes, it also will feature premium mobile services (like the Zune video store and music subscription/purchasing). I wouldn’t be surprised if Pink looked like — or at least was targeted at the same demographic as — the Sidekick, given the Danger folks have been at the core of Pink’s development team since Microsoft acquired Danger in 2008,” Foley reports. “Last I heard, Pink was being built on top of the Windows Mobile 7 core, which is in development, but now not expected to be available on phones until late 2010.”

Foley reports, “I received a tip earlier this year that Microsoft was going to make another run at the Tablet. Chief Experience Officer J Allard, who has been been noticeably absent from public appearances over the past few months, is supposedly leading the charge.”

MacDailyNews Take: Because he’s just soo busy that he can’t appear in public for even one second, much less an hour or two. Puleeze. More likely, Microsoft’s Steve Jobs-wannabe is too enthralled with his Apple Mac and his 9 iPods to leave his office.

Foley continues, “More recently, I heard that at least one exec from Microsoft’s Surface team is part of the Tablet effort, too.”

MacDailyNews Take: Because what the world is crying out for is a 53-pound Big Ass Tablet bathed in App-Lack™. Buy one, get one free cart.

Foley continues, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft is waiting for Apple to show its Tablet hand before trotting out its revamped Tablet.”

MacDailyNews Take: Because then Microsoft can yet again look like the followers that they are. Thanks, Mary Jo, for yet another brilliant soccer mom deduction. Are we sure Mary Jo’s not really the one behind Microsoft’s latest WIndows 7 ad?

Foley continues, “Microsoft is a software and services company. Execs have made it clear they plan to get out of the MP3 player business after “at least one more” Zune HD device. Microsoft is more interested in making money off subscriptions. That’s why Zune is morphing into a set services are going to move to mobile phones, including Pink.”

MacDailyNews Take: Because Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Danger’s Sidekick each set the world so ablaze on their own that together they’ll simply eviscerate Apple’s iPhone+iPod+iTunes+iiTunes Store+App Store solution. And the carriers thought Dell’s phone was too dull. They haven’t seen anything, yet. And, don’t forget to get your soon-to-be-orphaned Zune HD – also slathered in App-Lack™ – today!

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert S.” for the heads up.]


  1. “Microsoft is a software and services company. Execs have made it clear they plan to get out of the MP3 player business after “at least one more” Zune HD device.

    So that brand new Zune HD some poor sucker just bought? Yeah, it’s a dead-end device. I’ll bet their (few) customers would have appreciated knowing that prior to their purchase.

    Microsoft is more interested in making money off subscriptions.

    …because they’ve grown fat and lazy from their only two profitable cash cows, and want another way to sit back and collect money without having to really do anything.

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft is waiting for Apple to show its Tablet hand before trotting out its revamped Tablet.”

    Yes, because it’s much easier for Microsoft’s R&D;department to copy Apple that way.

    May Ballmer remain CEO of Microsoft for as long as it takes!

  2. Sure, absolutely wait until Apple shows it tablet. That is the most logical thing to do. To copy another company requires the ability to see it. Microsoft has not gained it’s innovations without a price. That price is they first wait for a company to actually innoviate. Then copy. Ballmer- He’s brilliant!

    And besides, if you bring out your tablet before Apple you could quickly look stupid without any way of stopping it. The product that is.

  3. OMG now the so called innovative Microcrap is copying Apple again? This time in the Tablet and the Phone market? Why can’t they learn that they will sooner or later just collapse in Apple hands. Well anyways..

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  4. hey, play fair. mary jo did not put the word “kill” in her post, or anything like it. none of her sources did either. or even imply they thought they could vs. Apple. MDN is twisting the story with that snark headline. the accurate word to use in it would have been “copy”.

    and yet you missed her use of MDN’s other favorite word, “beleagured”! quote: “…the beleagured Windows Mobile team …”!!

    you guys must be a little fuzzy after the weekend.

  5. For me, here’s the key graph:

    “Point two: Microsoft’s plan in the mobile device space is to partner more closely with fewer vendors. That’s what the “chassis” model is all about. Microsoft creates a very detailed chassis spec and then allows partners to bid on making devices that comply with the spec.”

    This is stunning, given that a cornerstone of Microsoft’s basic business model is producing compatible software across a broad range of hardware choices. The problem with this, as history has shown, is that creating software that works across multiple vendor hardware platforms only puts downward pressure on the lowest common denominator as time goes by. The result is the mediocrity which has become synonymous with Microsoft software.

    Choosing to work with fewer vendors for Microsoft is like cutting one’s foot off to save a leg. MS is choosing to reduce the number of cats in the herd in order to hopefully develop better software (or at least deliver mediocre software on-time), AND they are choosing this at the expense of compatibility (which for Microsoft means either less growth or less market penetration).

    This is definitely a new idea for Microsoft, and one that flies in the opposite direction of who they are and how they came to be the biggest software company on the block.

    The most stunning thing, however, is that it may be the first clue that MS leadership has actually recognized the size of the iceberg upon which their once-mighty ship is perched.

  6. How many times has Microsoft tried to intro a tablet? Or portable computers. I’ve lost count.

    I don’t think any pc tablet will take off right now. It will be apple that they copy for a couple reasons, the top ones being size and design. I still firmly believe that apple is waiting until it gets some sort of plastic screen that has the feel of the current iPhone/touch screen, but is lighter, scratch resistant and can flex some. The unibody laptops were the first step.

    Plus you need to completely revamp how things work on a touch screen. You can’t just pretend a finger is a mouse. I think apple has been exploring this as well and still has a ways to go before it becomes “blessed” by jobs.

  7. “More recently, I heard that at least one exec from Microsoft’s Surface team is part of the Tablet effort, too.”

    Think they’ll have the wit to call their product a taptop computer? My Eight-Ball says Forget It.

  8. I’ll really enjoy seeing Mickeysoft copy something Apple isn’t working on anyways…..the iTablet.

    Again…absolutely no proof the iTablet will ever exist. At least not from a company named Apple. It’d be real funny though if MS actually started developing something based on the phony hype out there over a product that will never exist.

    What? No camera on the iPod Touch? We were SO sure this would happen……….surely we can’t be wrong on TWO completely unsubstantiated speculations….could we?

  9. @ Deus Ex Technica – You raise some good points! I’m wondering just how thrilled Microsoft’s “chassis” hardware partners will be, at the prospect of having hardware specs dictated to them by the same people who brought us the 54%-failure-rate XBox. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  10. Did I detect a touch of cynicism towards the mighty Microsoft from the lapdog Mary Jo Foley?

    I wonder if, one day, even she will see Microsoft for what it really is…. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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