Archive for the 'Microsoft' Category

Microsoft and T-Mobile Looking to Shutdown Danger Servers?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

TechFlash is reporting that Microsoft and T-Mobile are planning to announce a transition away from the Danger servers any day now.

It’s no secret that T-Mobile is looking to relaunch the Sidekick device on the Android platform, but what this relaunch means to current Sidekick users has as of yet been unknown. The Danger servers, now owned by Microsoft, cost resources and money to run. Whether or not T-Mobile and Microsoft are making enough money on Sidekick users to warrant continuing to run these servers is unknown. Regardless, once these servers are shutdown, it means the end of our good friend, Danger.

No official word yet, but when we hear it we’ll let you know.

source image via Mithun RS

New Details on the Turtle, Pure, Lion and Pride Phones

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Looks like the firmware for the new Turtle and Pure phones has leaked and is being picked apart. @Conflipper is posting details about the OS of these two phones and the many clues hidden amongst the code.

Before we dive in, how do we know this firmware is for the Project Pink phones? Well, there’s this string in there:

ProviderName=”Microsoft Pink” USB\PinkUsbDbg.DeviceDesc=”Pink USB Debug”

It looks like there’s going to be possibly four different devices, well kind of. The Turtle and Pride phones are going to be 320×240 pixel screens with UMTS and CDMA radios respectively. The Pure and the Lion will be higher resolution devices at 480×320 pixels and again UMTS and CDMA respectively.


Also of note, it looks like they’ll be based on a version of the Windows CE kernel developed for an ARM architecture thanks to this string in the firmware:

Zune Device.K.E.Y.V.A.U.L.T .A.R.M…W.i.n.d.o.w.s. .C.E. .K.e.r.n.e.l. .f.o.r. .A.R.M.

What version of CE? Well, possibly CE 6 since there’s this:

Microsoft Windows CE Ethernet Bootloader v%d.%d for NVIDIA %s Platform. Partition name %s …..CE6.CE6/

. And yes, that’s an NVIDIA you see in there, most likely the NVIDIA Tegra which also runes the Zune HD.

There’s of course all sorts of references to “PMX” which we already know is Microsoft’s Premium Mobile Experience, aka Microsoft + what’s left of Danger. But one mention of PMX is interesting:

PMX2009 = “PMX USB Modem 2009” PMX2009S = “PMX USB Modem 2009 Standalone” %PMXDevice2009% = QportInstall00, USB\VID_045E&PID_0123&MI_00

Tethering perhaps?

And finally, Conflipper mentions: With reference to Silverlight and Visualizer feeds with a heavy background to social networking I dont think these phone are all that “dumb”

Microsoft’s “Turtle” Hits the FCC

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Looks like one of Microsoft’s Pink phones, the “Turtle“, hit the FCC. Model PB10ZU appears to packed with dual-band CDMA, EVDO, Bluetooth, and 802.11b/g. There’s also a reference to PB20ZU (the “Pure” perhaps?) but no details on that one. March 29th is the date to wait till for the rest of the FCC docs to be released. For the record, the FCC ID is APYNAR0067.

FCC Docs via Engadget

Microsoft to release “follow-up to Sidekick”

Friday, February 12th, 2010

The Wall Street Journal and other sources are saying that Microsoft may not be revealing it’s new Pink phone in Barcelona as previously rumored, just the new Windows Mobile OS. However they are saying the rumored Pink phones will be a follow-up to the T-Mobile Sidekick, it will be manufactured by Sharp, and will be heavy on the social networking side. Carriers rumored to carry it? Verizon and Vodafone are said to be carrying it internationally. One has to wonder where T-Mobile is in all of this. Will Sidekick users have to switch carriers to continue with the latest and greatest Sidekick-like device?

Read more at Business Insider because Wall Street Journal has the stupid paywall.

Scratch That, Project Pink Phones Are Coming This Year

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

It looks like maybe the Project Pink phones are actually going to see the light of day later this year. In an article on CNET, sources are saying that Microsoft will ship Windows Mobile 7 later this year, but CNET is also saying the “next generation of the Sidekick product line” should ship before Windows Mobile hits the market. If this is true, that means the new Pink devices are coming, and they won’t be running Windows Mobile 7.

The good news is that we’ll know more soon. Microsoft’s Head of Entertainment and Devices, Robbie Bach, said they would have more to tell at the Mobile World Congress in a few weeks.

Interesting Tweets “from Danger” What is #TMDP?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

There are a number of tweets on Twitter over the past few months that specify the client as “Danger” and have a mysterious hashtag of #tmdp or #tmd. The posts started showing up with the #tmd tag but later change to the #tmdp tag.

Many of the tweets have “from Danger” listed as the client, which Twitter links to Microsoft. Usually tweets sent from the Sidekick say “from Sidekick” so this seems to indicate that this could be a new Twitter client from Danger. Whether this Twitter client means a new device, new operating system, the continuation of Project Pink, etc is anyone’s guess at this point.

Here’s some of the interesting tweets:

@JohnMatherly: Thanks to Roz for a #tmdp breakfast in Palo Alto
11:56 AM Dec 7th, 2009 from Danger

@JohnMatherly: We’re counting on ProdUS to be #tmdp
4:52 PM Jan 19th from Danger

@darylw: #tmdp Welcome new team members….we are excited to have you join us.
1:38 PM Dec 16th, 2009 from Danger.

@darylw: #tmdp wish i saw more posts from team members on that says posted “n hours ago from Danger”
11:55 PM Nov 18th, 2009 from web

@pbernard: i think twitterfall is working #tmdp
4:22 PM Nov 4th, 2009 from DestroyTwitter

@pbernard: digging xbox twitter #tmd
8:44 PM Sep 24th, 2009 from Xbox LIVE

@pbernard: and we have PINK DONUTS for strat review #tmd
7:41 AM Sep 15th, 2009 from DestroyTwitter

@pbernard: #tmd ta-da.
1:42 PM Aug 27th, 2009 from DestroyTwitter

@terminal4: wow. it’s like stuff is kinda workin #tmdp
10:04 PM Dec 9th, 2009 from Danger.

@JRayZor: This is harder to use than binary mode ftp #tmd
12:08 AM Sep 4th, 2009 from web

@cpicoto: 2311 CD INT – Palo Alto, CA
11:46 AM Nov 11th, 2009 from Danger

@danblack: the #tmdp can fix itself sometimes.
11:37 AM Nov 20th, 2009 from Danger

@danblack: The #tmd is tasty today
3:44 PM Oct 15th, 2009 from Danger

@XuNami: Fun bug bash today. I’m so glad it came together 🙂 #tmdp
7:45 PM Jan 8th from Danger.

Chris Pirich is one of those tweeting with the #tmdp hashtag and a “from Danger” client. Chris is the head of engineering for Pink.

Other Microsoft people in on the Twitter fun include:

  • Pete Bernard: “involved in a number of initiatives regarding mobile and embedded devices.”
  • Daryl Welsh: Director of Test – Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft
  • Andrew Clinick: Group Program Manager at Microsoft
  • Carlos Picoto: Director of Program Management at Microsoft
  • Dan Black: is/was the Lead Developer Relation Manager for Xbox
  • Namrata Bachwani: Release Manager at Microsoft
  • Chris Sorensen: Senior Manager, Community and Social Media at Microsoft

– It seems like a lot of XBox people are now part of the mobile experience team. This may be the one thing that bodes well for Pink.
– #TMD is happening at Microsoft Studio G in Redmond.
– There are a lot of references to 4 digit numbers in #tmdp tweets. Could these be build numbers for an OS or firmware?
– @DarylW made a #tmd list

What do you guys think? What could TMDP stand for? Have you found any interesting tweets with this hash tag?

Sidekick Catalog Remains Down / Where To Get Ringtones & Themes

Monday, November 9th, 2009
Fetching Catalog contents

Life as a Sidekick user is starting to return to normal as T-Mobile/Microsoft/Danger slowly announce each piece of data that is restorable as they make progress. We’ve gotten back Address Books, Calendars, To Do Lists, Notes, and most recently Photos. I know a lot of people are still waiting on Bookmarks and I imagine that will be next in line. However one of the hallmarks of the Sidekick is still missing and we haven’t heard any word on when it will return.

I’m of course talking about the Download Catalog, aka the first App Store. The Catalog has been down for over a month and this sucks both for Sidekick users as well as Sidekick Developers. I’m sure T-Mobile is feeling the hurt too as a large source of their income from Sidekick users comes from selling applications, ringtones and themes.

While there are no other ways to get applications (save having a developer key), it is possible to get ringtones and themes while the catalog is down from unofficial sites. Themes for most Sidekicks can be found at Sidekick Themes and if you have a Sidekick LX 2009 you can get free ringtones at

UPDATE (2009-11-11): We’re hearing through the grapevine that the Download Catalog may be up by Saturday if things go well! Keep your fingers crossed.

Restore Your Photos

Monday, November 9th, 2009

Danger/Microsoft has added one more thing to the list of data you can restore. If you had photos that were saved on the Danger servers you can get them back now on Here’s how:

Although we cannot directly restore photos to your Sidekick through the sync process, if you wish to receive a copy of your photos by e-mail, please enter and confirm your e-mail address below. Your photos will be sent to you via e-mail, one photo per e-mail. Depending on how many photos you have, this process may take some time. Once all your photos have been sent, we’ll send a confirmation e-mail to your Tmail account.

Please note: Don’t send these to your Tmail address as you could exceed your Sidekick’s e-mail quota.

Sidekick OTAs Rolling Out

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Danger OTAs

Microsoft/Danger has started rolling out an OTA (Over-The-Air) update to all Sidekick users. This update will not make any changes to your device that you’ll be able to see. It’s intended to fix some behind the scenes stuff so that “all Catalog application data will now be more securely backed up in the Microsoft / Danger systems.” This is NOT the Sidekick LX 2009 OTA I posted about earlier, which I assume is on indefinite hold until everything gets sorted out. It’s assumed that this OTA is rolling out to all Sidekick devices. Let us know in the comments if you received the OTA, which device you’ve got, and when you got the update.

T-Mobile posted an update over on their forums and we’ve archived a copy over on since the forum updates aren’t permanent.

Cellphone Chris’s Letter to T-Mobile/Danger

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Chris posted the following in a comment, but I thought it was worth highlighting in a dedicated post. His letter touches on some of the feelings a lot of us long-time Sidekick lovers are feeling I think:

Dear T-Mobile/Danger:

My sentiments as a long-time subscriber:


I’ve had your services since your spokesperson was a parrot and your name was Omnipoint. I even sold them as an Authorized Dealer when the pager business died. It was 1998, and you only offered a handful of brick-sized phones (remember the Ericsson 388?), and your flagship handset had a 3-color screen and was made by Siemens. I remember using prepaid coupons to pay my postpaid bill – Genius! Your network was small, your plans were so-so, but digital was superior, and you were my first choice.

You became Voicestream, and had a fancy, stylized logo and Jamie-Lee Curtis was your spokesperson. She gave James Earl Jones a run for his money and you began to look like a major player. There were plenty of companies to choose from, but I stayed faithful. I used all the newest handsets and loved the ease of switching my SIM, allowing me to try all the newest phones. My Nokia 3300 fell 100 times but never failed me. I would just put the shell back together, and I had all the colors. I composed my own ringers painstakingly from the composer before it became a billion-dollar business. AT&T was still TDMA back then, and you were the only GSM player for a while (It still amazes me how you let Cingular/Big Blue leapfrog you with your own technology, but I digress).

You gobbled up smaller carriers left and right, and soon you got your new name. T-Mobile. Your coverage maps still looked like daddy-long-legs, but with each revision, the pink spiders gained weight. You were determined to provide call quality over tower quantity, knowing the latter would come soon enough. I always had enjoyable experiences as a customer and got my whole family under your wing.

Flash forward to 2002. I had a two-way pager from Skytel, and life was good. I could actually check email without a COMPUTER! My last regular handset was a Motorola V70, a slick-looking phone that rotated instead of flipping open. But I lusted for something that could do it all. I bought an unlocked Motorola Accompli 009 online to combine my 2-way pager with a phone, and also had a color screen. Mandatory headset required though, and Bluetooth didn’t exist yet. That didn’t last long. I looked at my sheet of upcoming phones and saw some chunky, grey, calculator-looking thing with a full keyboard. And the screen did some funky, flip move that snapped open like I always wished the V70 had done. Was this the device I had been looking for?


Ahhh, what say I say to my dear old friend. I picked up your ugly duckling of a device and never looked back. I had never been brand-loyal with handset manufacturers, but boy, did that change. In my entire history as a wireless customer, no device has matched the ingenuity of something so useful as the Jump button. I’ve multi-tasked with ease, and frequented the (later, forums daily anticipating each OTA update. I remember when AIM smileys and copy/paste were added. I posted so often under the name JustifydHomicide that I was a “Power User”. Appletech, The Gryphon, mwsmith, JHC – These people were the gurus of my Sidekick experience. I got a developer’s key and loved testing applications, learning the Menu+Shift shortcuts like the back of my hand.

You were always so ahead of the curve, single-handedly creating the catalog model for which Apple smugly gets credit, and for which all the other OS companies are still clamoring. I felt that I was using the latest and greatest technology, for a while that is. I anticipated each new hardware launch and recall ordering the Sidekick 2 at midnight of the launch. I’ve done the same for each new device, and even sprung for the Mr. Cartoon and LRG LE’s. I remained positive after your acquisition by Microsoft, even after they unceremoniously fired half of your staff, anxiously hoping that someday I’d see the convergence of the Sidekick with another favorite, the Zune.

When the G1 came out, I resisted temptation and waited to upgrade to the LX09 even though 3G hadn’t launched in my area yet. I was grandfathered into your $20 data, and was willing to forgo the latest handset and stay loyal to you. For the first time, however, I was thoroughly unimpressed by your new outfit. Sure, your new dress was sexy and sleek, but the new integration of social networking apps lacked functionality and slowed my typically reliable OS to a crawl. I became plagued with frequent resets and freezing and now stay logged out of apps unless I need them, opting to use the browser for Twitter rather than the especially-limited catalog version. It soon became clear why this app and others were provided to the end user for free.

I began to fall out of love with you after gazing at superior products. I even flirted with a few, impressed by better features and ease of use. I developed an infatuation for Android like a middle middle-aged man staring at a young home-wrecker. The company whose ingenuity I had loved and been loyal to had changed like an estranged wife of 6 years. It felt like you lost your touch, and looking at your renders of the Project Pink phones had me drawing up my divorce papers.

Then, there was the straw that broke the camel’s back,

October 2nd, 2009:

You know the particulars, so I won’t cover old news. You know what you did. You cheated on me. I had a trust in you that I was sure you wouldn’t break. My secrets were safe with you throughout our relationship, and then you walked out on me in the form of a data outage. It had happened before, but never like this. I couldn’t reach you for over a week, and when I heard from you, I realized that it was worse than I thought. You didn’t just fail me, but you also destroyed everything we built together. Taking over 1000 contacts with you when you left was like emptying the joint account and taking the kids. You didn’t even leave the pictures as a memento. How cruel could you be?

Apparently you had a change of heart, restoring some of my contacts, although you haven’t yet made me whole. I’m still waiting for you to drop off the rest of my stuff – Do you think you can get the calendar, bookmarks, and photos back to me soon? I’m starting to think it’ll all work out in the end; I’m getting comfortable with the idea that we won’t be together much longer. I noticed you took yourself off the market on, too. Decided not to play the field?

Android looks better every day, but I like my ladies with keyboards, and G1’s getting wrinkles every day. I check in on my new love interests N900 and Bold 2 daily, and can’t wait to choose my new wife. T-Mobile at least had enough Loyalty (Plan) to allow me to forgive them, but you I cannot. The credits and new handset they offered me make me feel a little better.


With your bold launch of Project Dark, this could not have come at a more inopportune time. I applaud your willingness to adopt a new model and buck the tradition that has plagued the wireless climate in the U.S. I will not be converting to one of these new plans, as my current plan suits me better. I do wonder two things about your no-contract Even More Plus plans:

Will handsets purchased at full retail come unlocked?

Will customer be allowed to provide their own unlocked handset and sign up for Even More Plus?

In closing, thank you T-Mobile for always having a “Think Customer First” attitude, a credo of another large and successful company. Your customer service is unparalleled, and your philosophy as a company influenced me to work for your corporation during my 9-year wireless career, before moving on to a different industry. In this situation, you didn’t hesitate to concede your faults for Microsoft/Danger’s shortcomings. Although you were only indirectly responsible, you realized that ultimately YOU collect my bill, and I respect that. I won’t disclose what concessions you’ve offered me to retain my business, but I do beleive that I will continue to a be satisfied customer some time in November. I hope Microsoft makes you whole for your loss of revenue due to this debacle.

Cellphone Chris