Microsoft Buys Danger

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As originally reported by TechCrunch, while the ill-fated “zOMG MICROSOFT IS EATING YAHOO!” webstorm was roiling, Microsoft quietly acquired Danger Corporation, makers of (most) Sidekick handsets and their OS/web protocols. This move means potentially interesting things for MS’ E&D division (home also to Zune and the XBox line). One wonders if E&D’s charter is expanding (or perhaps more correctly, how much it is).

As recently reported, this isn’t Microsoft’s only move into cell-phone territory. That the proposed XPERIA X1 is slated to use WinMo as its OS tends to imply that the formerly-proprietary Sidekick OS may soon begin undergoing a dovetailing process to generalized WinMo compatibility – an almost unavoidable move for MS given the nature and primary selling-points of WinMo, and MS’ general position on OS conformity. From version 3 onwards, Sidekick devices are
generally quite friendly to fairly comprehensive software upgrades (witness the retrocompatibility of T-Mobile’s MyFaves program with the SK3), so longer-term users may get to be included in such a process, good or bad, assuming it happens at all.

Rumors have long flown about a portable XBox, to be consistently snubbed by the Redmond giant. Will this toe in the waters of the cell phone industry prove Microsoft’s jumping-off point into portable gaming? Stay tuned.

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