April 15, 2008, 2:35 PM — Microsoft hinted that
it might keep the software and hosted architecture built by Danger,
the mobile company that designed the software behind the Sidekick.
The software giant announced the completion of its acquisition of the mobile
developer on Tuesday.
When Microsoft announced its intention to buy Danger in February, it didn't
say much about its plans for Danger's technology. At the time, some Sidekick
fans worried that Microsoft might try to wrap some of the software into Windows
Mobile but largely discontinue Danger's products.
But with its announcement of the completion of the acquisition, Microsoft praised
Danger's technology. Danger's client software paired with hosted back-end services
creates rich consumer experiences, Microsoft said in its statement. Combining
Danger with Microsoft should help build innovative mobile experiences for consumers,
Danger's operating system and applications work in tandem with back-end servers
to deliver services such as games, social networking, Internet access, Web e-mail
and instant messaging. T-Mobile's Sidekick, manufactured by Sharp,
is perhaps the best-known Danger device.
Workers at Danger, including co-founders Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt, will
join Microsoft in a new group, the Premium Mobile Experiences team, within the
Mobile Communications Business. Danger employees will continue to work from
their current offices, which are in Palo Alto, California; Duluth, Georgia;
Billerica, Massachusetts; and Reading, U.K.
The Premium Mobile Experiences group focuses on consumer mobile projects, Microsoft
said. The company has recently begun focusing more on consumer mobile services,
after Windows Mobile established a reputation as software primarily for business
Using Danger's consumer software could help Microsoft better compete with other
popular new consumer mobile offerings, such as the iPhone.
It could also help Microsoft stave off competition from Google's forthcoming
software. Andy Rubin, one of Danger's founders, later left the company to start
Android, a company that Google bought and used to develop its own Android software.