back to article Why is Microsoft dancing with Danger?

The world may have missed it in the fuss over the Yahoo! bid, but last week Microsoft announced it had agreed to acquire Danger Inc, for a reported $500m. The purchase is indicative of Microsoft's aspirations as a provider of back-end services to the mobile industry, and could point to a new model for the future of Windows …


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  1. darsyx

    Shop Smart, Shop AppleMart

    This isn't the first time you've used words "smartphone" and "iPhone" in the same context - what's "smart" about the iPhone?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    The iPhone is certainly smarter than about 95% of the Nokia Symbian based devices that also get called smartphones. You know, the ones where no-one ever downloads or installs an app, they just buy it because it looks nice.

    Paris, because... well, who else would you have in an article about Danger?

  3. Danny
    IT Angle

    someone please remind me again

    what the apeal of the IPhone is? somehow half the world population seem to think it's the nest best thing since sliced toast, yet i am unable to grasp what it is that makes this phone so much better then any other (specially with the hefty price tag it has). i have a Samsung U900, which i bought from a friend, it does everything i need.

    i don't know if it's my unnatural aversion against apple, but i just cannot understand what the big deal is.

  4. Mad Hacker
    Thumb Up

    If your phone does everything you need, you don't need an iPhone

    Hey Danny, you said your current phone does everything you need, therefore you don't need an iPhone so stop asking why you need one.

    I did need an iPhone because I needed a capacity larger than 4GB. I also needed good web browsing. I also needed good email where I can actually view/open attachments that are PDF or Word docs. I also needed a good mapping app like Google maps. I also needed the phone to be fast and reliable, and handle multiple email accounts at once. I also needed to be able to compose nice emails quickly.

    My last smartphone that I paid a lot of $$ for when it first shipped was a Treo 650 (I think it was more than the iPhone costs today, but maybe it was the same, and that was with a 2 year contract with Sprint.) I'm used to paying that much for my phones, so the iPhone wasn't expensive in my opinion. Anyway the Treo 650 didn't do any of the above very well. So the iPhone did a lot my previous expensive smartphone did not. Are there other phones out there that do all that? Yes, but not as efficiently.

    I've looked at a lot of smart phones, and aside from web browsing, email, and some of the UI niceness of google maps on the iPhone, yes other smartphones do that stuff too (the Treo 650 is a bit long in the tooth these days, of course with mandatory 2 year contracts on every phone in the US, you will always have old tech by the time you have the freedom to change phones.) I haven't found a smartphone that does it as well/efficiently/quickly as the iPhone. In fact, my friend recently got a top of the line Windows Mobile with 3G also from ATT. We both went to a website neither had been to before (so no cache could come into play) and my iPhone which only has 2.5G loaded the page in 22 seconds and his loaded it in 117 seconds and also didn't render it as nicely. So in the US at least, lack of 3G on the iPhone isn't an issue.

    But the iPhone isn't for everyone. So chances are you are correct, you don't need one.

    My favorite phone of all time BTW is the Samsung SPH-i500. Damn nice phone. Just wish there was something that nice with updated CPU and web browsing abilities. I bought that the day it shipped and spent about the same $$ with a 2 year contract as my iPhone. So my last 3 smartphone (including the iPhone) all cost about the same.

  5. sleepy

    You're all just jealous of iPhone for its simplicity and success

    Microsoft sees its middle aged spread, greying hair, and wrinkles, and is splurging its undoubted wealth on a succession of facelifts, hairpieces and trophy brides.

    Sorry Microsoft - accept what you are, and live with it, or you'll not live long.

  6. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Gates Halo

    Back end is aimed at the enterprise!

    Mickey$haft is doing what it does best - looking after sales of its core software products! If you look at email on business phones (and it's the business users that make RIM so much money), then it's Domino/Notes and Exchange/Outlook as the back end email systems, usually with BES on Windows servers (OK, there are a few masochists using Groupwise). Exchange revenue for M$ is massive, and the push email service provided previously with Windows Mobile has been frankly awful! The Treo mentioned above was a very good device, but when I was offered it as a company phone in return for handing in my ancient Blackberry 7100v my response was less than polite!

    So, to make it in the corporate phone world, M$ needs a better email system to make sure those users are pushed to Exchange rather than a competitor. The Danger/Sidekick offering could bring a real competitor to RIM's BES, and one the providers will like aswell as like BES it will involve lots of nice airtime charges for sucking down all those corporate email attachments! My bet is M$ will bundle it with Exchange/Outlook to make a real BES/BIS competitor and prevent email server migrations to the likes of Domino. The follow through is like Windows at work and Windows at home - when users get used to the M$ email/phone combo at work they will use the same for their personal phones.

  7. fnord

    Because Windows Mobile is an utter mess

    Seriously, in what alternate universe has Windows Mobile "shaped up to be a reasonable operating system"?

    Our company has been issuing HTC WM5 phones for a year or so. It is moderately useful as a very expensive mobile web browser and PDA. For everything else, especially using it as a phone, it's worst-of-breed in every respect.

    The interface is quite simply the most horrible, clunky, amateur, cobbled together bucket of crap I've ever come across - far, far worse than anything in the open source world, let alone Nokia or Apple products.

    Usually it's a pejorative to call something designed-by-committee, but if WM5 was designed by committee it, it was one of which none of the members ever met or spoke to one other.

    The only thing that keeps suckering managers into buying WM5 phones is the much-touted Exchange integration which admittedly is OK, and seems to be the one single element of WM5 which was actually tested.

    Oh I'm no Apple fanboy either - the iPhone is a cute toy with some fun gimmicks, but without actual 3G it's just a toy.

  8. Mad Hacker

    Why doesn't Apple by RIM?

    Why doesn't Apple just by RIM and be done with it.

  9. TeeCee Gold badge


    There's a damned good reason why WM6 followed so hotly on the heels of WM5. Even Microsoft can spot a bag of shite when they ship one. 6 is actually quite good.

    My only gripe here is that the Exchange controlled "security" features render having Exchange sync switched on a pain. Not MS's fault though. The corporates demanded the features and it's hardly down to MS if their customers hire retarded, ignorant, sadistic Rottweilers who respond to change in the same way that supertankers respond to course corrections to administer it.

  10. fnord


    I've played with WM6 and agree it is a bit better, especially the phone dialler, which is now merely annoying rather than almost unusable. And the improvements they talk about for WM7 and beyond do sound like they at least acknowledge some of the more dire problems.

    The Exchange sync security features are indeed fiendishly intrusive. I had to disable it after a week or so as the absurdly small screenlock timeout caused me too many problems, which thereby negated the main justification for replacing our perfectly functional non-3G Nokias with the HTCs in the first place.

    What I'm getting at is that MS buying Danger and giving itself a way out of the whole Windows Mobile mire makes a certain amount of sense to me. They can have something that's still MS branded, leverages all their proprietary systems and services, but which is designed by a team that don't actively wish pain and suffering on their users.

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