Archive for the 'Pink' Category
Looks like the FCC docs for a “Slide Dual-band CDMA Phone with Bluetooth/WLAN” made by Sharp have shown up on the FCC site. The model number, PB20ZU, is unsuprisingly close to that of the Turtle.
Of course, nothing juicy like external shots until 180 days after the filing, which would put us out at early August. I imagine the Pink devices will be out by then, or at least for Microsoft’s sake I would hope so.
For the record, the FCC ID is APYNAR0066.
It ain’t easy… being Pink. Techeye is reporting that Microsoft’s Project Pink phones are going to be delayed until sometime in April. The reason for the delay? “issues with the European models and roll out,” but that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the phones which are already done and ready. There’s just some stuff to work out with carriers.
It’s looking like they’ll be available on Verizon here in the states and Vodafone in the UK. Originally there was talk about unveiling the Pink phones (Turtle and Pure) at CeBIT but now it’s looking like Microsoft is going to throw their own events to herald the arrival of the Pink phones and they’re willing to shell out big bucks to make sure it’s something significant..
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.
DEVICE_TYPE=TURTLE RADIO_TYPE=UMTS SPLASH= 320_240
DEVICE_TYPE=PRIDE RADIO_TYPE=CDMA SPLASH= 320_240
DEVICE_TYPE=PURE RADIO_TYPE=UMTS SPLASH=480_320
DEVICE_TYPE=LION RADIO_TYPE=CDMA SPLASH= 480_320
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
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”
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.
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?
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.
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 twitter.com 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?
There’s an extensive (and well written) article over on RoughlyDrafted about Microsoft, Danger, Windows Mobile, Apple, et all. If you have the time, I highly recommend you read it to get a much fuller picture on the state of things. It’s one of the most comprehensive and up to date “State of the Union” when it comes to Danger/Microsoft/Project Pink/etc. That said, I know not everyone has the time to dive into such an article, so here are some highlighted snippets from a RoughlyDrafted’s Microsoft/Danger source that I thought would be most interesting to Hiptop3.com readers:
# The source says that the details about the Project Pink phones are true and that they wouldn’t be surprised if the photos were an intentional leak, however the rumors about Microsoft working with Verizon and the unhappy employees are definitely from an unhappy (ex) employee.
# What about handset makers?
“Let’s start with the handset makers. Motorola has announced their intention to abandon WinMo for Android, and Palm has already abandoned WinMo in favor of their own WebOS. A few others, such as HTC, have been hedging their bets, announcing their support for Android, but not yet willing to publicly disown WinMo. Now the story has been leaked that Microsoft has been secretly working with Sharp on this (doomed) [Pink] project for over a year, cutting everyone else out of the picture completely.
”You figured out the likely consequences of this over a month ago so I won’t belabor the point other than to say that Sharp, who has been a terrific partner to Danger throughout the Hiptop/Sidekick era, was no doubt hoping that Pink would allow them to expand their phone offerings in the Americas, a dream which has now been dashed due to typical Microsoft blundering. I doubt that either Sharp or any of the other handset OEM’s will ever take Microsoft at their word again.
# Trying to build 4 versions of the Pink phones?
“the Pink planners decided to try to build both UMTS and CDMA phones in both form factors, for a grand total of four different SKUs. None of the other smartphone platform builders were foolish enough to try to build more than one phone at a time, and whoever made this decision didn’t take into account the added complexity involved in coding to support two different radio modules (from two different vendors, no less!) for two completely different radio technologies, not to mention validating and testing the RF performance of four different antennas (since each form factor and radio technology requires its own antenna design). At some point the UMTS project was placed on the back burner, and for all I know it may have already been cancelled, but the damage to the project has been done.”
# Pitting Verizon against T-Mobile
”The final operator who is going to be pissed is T-Mobile, who has been just as loyal of a partner to Danger as Sharp has been. I don’t know exactly what Microsoft has been telling them, but they have no doubt realized that they’ve been cut out of this deal in favor of their largest competitor. What’s worse is that apparently Microsoft has been lying to them this whole time about the amount of resources that they’ve been putting behind Sidekick development and support (in reality, it was cut down to a handful of people in Palo Alto managing some contractors in Romania, Ukraine, etc.).
“The reason for the deceit wasn’t purely to cover up the development of Pink but also because Microsoft could get more money from T-Mobile for their support contract if T-Mobile thought that there were still hundreds of engineers working on the Sidekick platform. As we saw from their recent embarrassment with Sidekick data outages, that has clearly not been the case for some time.
# So what happens now?
“The most likely possibility is that anything worth salvaging from Pink will get folded into the larger WiMo 7 project, where it should have been located in the first place. Another possibility would be another massive layoff and shutting down the Danger offices, but with the economic crunch, I doubt that Microsoft would choose to take the hit of handing out severance packages to all the affected engineers, and breaking the lease on the buildings.”
# And finally, what all of us wish would happen, and the reasons why it probably won’t:
”The smartest course of action (and therefore the one that Microsoft is least likely to take!) would be for them to recognize the value of the original Danger platform that they acquired, and to rebuild the Hiptop/Sidekick into a force to compete with Android (which is, after all, “Sidekick 2.0” in many respects). This won’t happen for three reasons: 1) Microsoft’s irrational hatred of Java, 2) Microsoft’s irrational love of Windows in all of its horrible flavors, and 3) all the Danger folks who loved the Sidekick platform have left or likely will leave soon, and Microsoft has no in-house expertise in Java or the Danger platform.
October has been a bad month for the Sidekick and the future of what’s left of the Danger team. Not only was there the Great Sidekick Data Outage of October ’09, now we’re hearing that Project Pink, a Microsoft project that the remaining Danger team was put on, might not even be seeing the light of day.
MobileCrunch heard some interesting news from an anonymous source that seems to be legit. Here’s the bullet points:
# As I reported previously, most of the Danger team has been fired or left.
# If any of the Pink devices ship, supposedly they will not have third party application support, i.e. no App Store/Download Catalog.
# The Project Pink employees are not happy. Most of the team still uses Sidekicks or even iPhones and “hate the product”. And here’s the best quote from MC’s source: many feel that the division exists only to “challenge [the Windows Mobile 7 team] and upset them into competing.”
# The project is about 2 years behind schedule and some basic applications are getting cut in an attempt to someday launch this thing.
# The touchscreen on the “Turtle” is not a viable touchscreen as the UI contains too many things on the screen at once and your finger ends up covering half the screen.
# The design of the user interface was done by a 3rd party and now Microsoft is trying to actually build the thing with some difficulty.
# And finally, the worst news for the 2 remaining Project Pink fans: MobileCrunch’s source says that the project “is near death and probably will be canceled.”
Ouch, this is of course all unconfirmed rumors, but if any of it is true… our sympathies to the remaining Danger employees.
Trash can photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/katmere/. Device images via Gizmodo