First, it was reported that Apple was talking to Verizon about getting the iPhone on its network in 2010. Then it was reported that Apple was actually working on new mobile devices for Verizon. With so much Apple blood in the Verizon water, it was only a matter of time before the Microsoft shark surfaced.
A new report in The Wall Street Journal suggests that Microsoft is also talking with Verizon about getting a device on its service. To be clear, this apparently is not just a standard new Windows Mobile device, as there are already plenty of those on the Verizon network. What this apparently is, is some sort of new device, designed in part by Microsoft, but developed by a third party. This device is said to include access to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile — its app store.
Once again, the codename “Pink” is being thrown out there. It’s been the subject of much debate over the past several months as to what Pink actually is. Some thought it was a Microsoft-built phone. Others thought it was simply the name of the Zune software tied into the Microsoft’s mobile experience. The WSJ report seems to indicate now that it’s a sort of cross between the two.
One thing seems clear: Microsoft is very interested in what both Apple and Google have done in the mobile space. Windows Mobile 6.5, which has been all but dubbed a “hold-over” until Windows Mobile 7 is ready, isn’t due until later this year. Windows Mobile 7 doesn’t seem likely to be on phones before late 2010, at the earliest. If Microsoft is thinking about branching off a bit with a new type of device/experience, that’s probably a smart play to stay in the rapidly evolving mobile game.
But can it score an exclusive deal with Verizon? That seems unlikely if Apple really is open to bringing its devices to the carrier as well. And how does Android play into the carrier’s plans?