Updated: Microsoft, Verizon, and Codename Pink

We've known for quite some time now that the folks up in Redmond were working on a top-secret Windows Mobile 7 powered device, dubbed codename: Pink. Our friend Mary Jo Foley has had an obsession for codename Pink for the last few years. Today the Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft and Verizon are currently in talks in launching a "touch-screen multimedia cellphone on the carrier's network early next year."

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer has already confirmed that Microsoft will not be producing the physical hardware for codename Pink, but the company will have the phone branded with the Microsoft logo. The focus on codename Pink will be Zune services, Windows Mobile Marketplace, MyPhone Services, and Windows Mobile 7.

Microsoft has yet to release any details on who will be manufacturing the device, or when the device will ship. Sources have told us that the device itself still hasn't reached manufacturing phase. One source told us, "Pink will launch around the time Windows Mobile 7 does next year."

An interesting point to mention is the fact that Apple and Verizon are currently in negotiations regarding a CMDA iPhone launch. I wonder how this will play out, Verizon carrying the new iPhone and Microsoft's "Pink"? What are your thoughts?

Update: After the word hit the press yesterday, many folks in the blogosphere started speculating that this could be the "Zune Phone". As we mentioned in our initial report here on Neowin, Microsoft isn't getting into the mobile phone hardware industry. We've known that for quite some time now, the folks up in Redmond have denied it time after time again.

Once again they denied the rumors, but the nature of the denial is of importance. Microsoft issued a statement yesterday too and we've already seen some of the integration. Now my question for the folks up in Redmond: What are you thinking?

There are plenty of logical reasons as to why Microsoft is looking to launch Codename Pink on the Verizon Wireless network. The first most obvious reason is that every other major carrier, in the United States (We'll talk worldwide at a later date) has its own hit phone. AT&T has the iPhone, T-Mobile has Google, and Sprint sucks (Ok, well we'll see with the Palm Pre). Verizon isn't on that list, and that leaves Microsoft with the option of giving Codename Pink exclusively to the company and its 86.6 million customers.

Yes that's a lot of people, but we've recently been told that Pink will be exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the United States. This means we're probably not going to see a GSM version. We live in a GSM world, well at least the cool people do. GSM is the world-wide standard, and if Microsoft wants to continue to grow the Windows Mobile market this is going to backfire in their face. As of 2007, the most recent statistics I could find, GSM technology (Including 3GSM) has over 85% of the world-wide market, while CDMA had about 15%.

As more information pours out from the folks up in Redmond, we'll keep you informed. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up-to-date with information regarding Codename Pink and all things technology.

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I'm with Sprint as well and have had few problems since they got a CEO. The reason they had problems before is because they didn't have a CEO, why they didn't get one right away who knows but since they've straightened out. Unfortunately Sprints name may be tainted for a while until they can prove themselves. AT&T and Tmobiles service is way worse though. I know many people who have Tmobile who get tons of dropped calls and I had AT&T for a little while (when I had problems with Sprint), and got more dropped calls with AT&T.

I'm not sure if Verizon would get the iphone because they always gimp their phones. Look at the HTC Touch Pro for Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. The Verizon one has not enough ram so its slower than the other two. I would hope that the MS phone wouldn't go to Verizon for the same reason. Verizon can't have a decent smart phone without gimping it.

It would suck bit time if it is CDMA only. Atleast i am not buying it. If Verizon "permits", without impacting their "exclusive licencing fee arrangement", then MS should atleast be talking to minnow GSM provider like T-Mobile. Sure, T-Mobile has not nailed down its 3G network, but hey atleast that would give MS a foothold in US GSM base.

Think again before going exclusive CDMA MS!

"AT&T has the iPhone, T-Mobile has Google, and Sprint sucks (Ok, well we'll see with the Palm Pre). Verizon isn't on that list..."

BlackBerry Storm. Sure, it may suck, but... still. It's their hit phone.

And if this is going to be CDMA-only, I'd be very happy if Sprint got it too. :P

EDIT: Nashy beat me to it by 2 minutes. DANGIT. This always happens to me...

VZW has the Storm. Keep that in mind.

The Storm has of course the CDMA version, and a GSM version. So tell me why they can't do the same with this phone for the rest of the world?

And the reason why the article is anti-VZW/anti-Vodaphone (that owns the majority of VZW) is because VZW is CDMA (and is the largest CDMA network anywhere). While most cellular networks *outside* the US are GSM, look at who (and how) those particular networks got built.

1. Most of those GSM networks *outside the US* (especially in South America, Europe, and the Asian/Indian continents) were built by old-line monopoly ILECs (in fact, weren't the majority of these ILECs, especially in Europe, government-owned and operated?). No way were they going to buy largely-American-sourced CDMA cell switchgear (for domestic-content reasons). I'm not saying that the hands of the US are clean; however, when it is the government itself doing the buying, it's a lot easier to make such a decision stick.

2. Most of these GSM networks aren't even the *square root* of the size of Sprint's network, let alone that of AT&T Mobility. Worse, AT&T Mobility's network has *bigger coverage holes* than VZW does. (I hate two things with a passion when it comes to cell services: roaming charges and dead zones. VZW has fewer of both than AT&T Mobility, or anyone else, in my experience.)

I'm an American, with cell service from VZW, that I chose, for one big reason: network coverage. The fanciest cell phone on the planet won't mean diddly if I have too many coverage holes and/or too many areas where I have to roam (or worse, both).

Ummm Verizon has the Blackberry Storm and they will get the Storm 2 which will have a new screen technology.

IF the iphone goes to Verizon I don't think Pink will. I would MS would way if Apple brings the iphone to Verizon then MS won't bring Pink. On top of that I would think Verizon would go with the iphone because its a phone that will bring a bunch of new customers to the network. On that note I hear that AT&T is trying to up the exclusivity of the iphone until 2011-2012. If that does happen then maybe Pink will go to Verizon. If it doesn't I think it'll go to Sprint and heres why Sprint needs all the help they can get. The Pre and Pink would bring new users to the network (which has gotten much better I might add). I don't think that will work though because the Pre is by far the best looking phone I've EVER seen. I don't think MS will make a decision until they know if the iphone is going to be brought to Verizon and to see how well the Pre does. I doubt Pink would go to AT&T or Tmobile. AT&T has the iphone and Tmobile sucks, they have good customer service but the worse network ever...at least in CA.

ha. true, the world has gsm. but the world will also have LTE in the next few years, supported by both VZW and AT&T..

I'll bet HTC will be making the phones. and since HTC allready makes pretty much all WinMo phones allready(wether they are HTC branded or not) it's not like they'll really be ****ing off third party partners. and the one remaining partner who do actually make their own WinMo phone outside of HTC, Well they'll just have to step it up and make a product that's at least just as good if not better.

I seriusly doubt HTC cares wether their phones are htc, Samsung, SE or even MS branded.

This is a great way to lose third party partners that create current Windows Mobile devices.

Microsoft should just stick to creating the Zune hardware and software for the PMP market, and the Zune software for Windows Mobile.

This is very interesting news. I would love to see what this thing is going to look like. I sure hope it's sexy. LOL It's a shame really because I need to switch carriers this month, so I'll have to pick something else... I guess the Samsung Omnia is nice. I wonder how Verizon handles upgrades...