COMMENT: Thanks to an analyst outfit report, the periodic speculation that Microsoft is planning to crank out its very own mobile phone is enjoying a resurgence, prompting the Redmond behemoth to issue what sounds like an unqualified denial: “Microsoft is not doing a phone.”
If this feels familiar, it’s not a case of deja vu. Google made an almost identical disclaimer almost a year ago in response to rumors of a gPhone (see “It all depends on what you mean by ‘we,’ and ‘are not doing’ and ‘a mobile phone'”), and while technically accurate, it deftly danced around the search sovereign’s actual plans, which involved creating the Android mobile operating system and putting together some specs and prototypes as a guide to hardware manufacturers who wanted to get on board.
Microsoft may well be following Google’s lead, both in carefully nuanced pronouncements and in its approach to the mobile phone market. Microsoft, of course, already has a platform with Windows Mobile, and ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley says her sources indicate the company has been crafting specifications and reference implementations, in the form of multiple smartphone chassis, to be offered as examples for handset makers.
Given the way Microsoft conquered the PC market, this would seem to make more sense than getting into a new and complex hardware business that would compete with other vendors of Windows-based phones.
At eWeek, Joe Wilcox agrees this is the likely scenario, but still longs to see a Microsoft handset. Meantime, what looked to be a beta of Microsoft SkyBox, a mobile phone sync and back-up service, made a brief appearance in the wild, and is likely to be turned loose for real during the Mobile World Congress, which starts Feb. 16.
For more see siliconvalley.com