Microsoft is said to be working on both a tablet PC and a sidekick-like smartphone code-named Pink. Media reports say Microsoft intends to release both after Apple actually discloses plans for its own long-rumored tablet device. So far neither company is confirming whether there is a grain of truth in the rumors.
Like rival Apple, Microsoft is supposed to be working on a tablet PC, Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet
According to her "sources," J Allard, Microsoft's chief experience
officer, is leading the effort, which is now said to be part of
something called "Alchemy Ventures," along with an exec from
Microsoft's Surface computer team. Foley expects Microsoft will wait to
show off its tablet until after Apple reveals what it has behind its
While netbooks propped up the ailing PC market, Apple was said to be instead working on a 7- to 10-inch tablet device. "We
expect Apple to fill the gap between the iPod Touch and the MacBook
with a new tablet device (not a netbook) priced at about $500-$700
," Gene Munster, a lead analyst with Piper Jaffrey, wrote in a May 21 research note.
"We are anticipating a new category of Apple products with an
operating system more robust than the iPhone's but optimized for
multitouch, unlike Mac OS X. The device's OS could bear a close
resemblance to Apple's mobile OS and run App Store apps, or it could be
a modified version of Mac OS X."
Apple has been mum on the topic, however, and apparently so is
Microsoft. "Microsoft isn't corroborating or even commenting on Pink or
the new tablet. This is purely from sources," wrote Foley.
Pink is yet another project that Foley reports Microsoft has in the
works. Ad Week reported in July that ad agency McCann Erickson was
chosen by Microsoft for a Pink ad campaign, making Pink seem the more
likely and more timely of the two.
Foley reports that Pink is being built on the Windows Mobile 7 operating system - which is not expected to arrive until late 2010
that it will be Microsoft branded, though not Microsoft manufactured.
In its design and intended demographic it's likely to resemble the
Sidekick, which was developed by Danger, whose team has since been
acquired by Microsoft and reportedly assigned to Pink's development
team, Foley reports.
Nodding to Palm's decision to discontinue its use of Windows Mobile, in favor of concentrating on its own webOS
Foley says Microsoft has a plan to work more closely with fewer
vendors. For this reason, she says, Microsoft is creating a "very
detailed chassis spec and then [allowing] partners to bid on making
devices that comply with the spec."
Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.