You’re probably all aware of the T-Mobile Sidekick thanks to people like Paris Hilton. At the heart of these units there’s a suite of mobile internet apps made by a company called Danger. It adds features such as ringtone stores, games and even productivity applications. Owners can easily create their own audio and visual alerts, or use photos from the photo album.
Danger control a lot of the user experience – bringing voice, email, SMS, IM, MMS and web content to your device and managing through a friendly GUI. Data is backed up securely over-the-air and software updates are pushed out that way too.
So why do we mention it? Well, a company called Microsoft have just bought them to stengthen the consumer focus within the Windows Mobile platform. This is yet more good news for us, as we’ve been concerned about “normal users” becoming side-lined in favour of business users for some time. How long before a Windows Mobile Sidekick appears? :)
Acquisition of popular software and mobile services company will enhance Microsoft’s ability to broadly deliver compelling mobile experiences.
REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 11, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Danger Inc., the company responsible for the software and services powering many popular consumer handsets. The acquisition will align Danger’s nearly 10 years of expertise in the mobile consumer space with Microsoft’s vision to provide innovative and compelling mobile experiences to a growing base of customers.
“Microsoft is a global leader with our Windows Mobile software and expanding mobile services,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “The addition of Danger serves as a perfect complement to our existing software and services, and also strengthens our dedication to improving mobile experiences centered around individuals and what they like.”
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company provides services that allow people to keep in touch, stay organized and keep informed while on the go through real-time mobile messaging, social networking services and other applications ― all blended together on a single phone that is intuitive and customizable.
“Danger continues to provide an effortless and fun mobile experience for consumers,” said Henry R. Nothhaft, chairman and CEO of Danger Inc. “Now by combining our uncompromised application software and powerful back-end service with Microsoft, we can expand our innovative service offerings even further and take mobility to a new level.”
A Grasp on Consumers
Danger has connected with a customer base that is young and enthusiastic, Internet-savvy and socially inclined. The Danger team has a deep understanding of consumers and a hold on what people want from mobility, making it an ideal group to work with in delivering connected experiences. Adding Danger to the Entertainment and Devices Division will provide Microsoft with additional assets and resources that will accelerate the company’s entry into the consumer space and complement the company’s focus on delivering innovative technologies and services that connect people’s entertainment and information.
Danger will further expand people’s mobile options by bringing a variety of established partnerships to the mix. Microsoft software can be found on more than 160 mobile phones made by more than 50 hardware partners, which are offered through more than 160 mobile operators around the world.
Defining the Mobile Experience
Through focused efforts Danger has successfully delivered a software and services platform to the mobile mass market. Applications on Danger-powered handsets include HTML Web browsing, instant messaging, games, multimedia, social networking, Web e-mail and personal information management applications.
Combining these services with Microsoft’s connected entertainment and experiences technologies, including MSN, Xbox, Zune, Windows Live and Windows Mobile, will provide Microsoft with the tools to accelerate its work to create industry-leading entertainment and communication experiences for consumers.
software updates to Danger-powered devices. For consumers, that means a product that continually improves over time. For operators, that means efficient updates of handset software and loyal customers.