Microsoft looks to cash in on the iPhone

Don't think for a minute that Microsoft is ignoring the iPhone. In fact, the software giant is probing the gadget for profit opportunities.

For a little more than a week, a team of the company's Silicon Valley software engineers has been examining the iPhone software development kit (SDK for short), a set of tools Apple (AAPL) released this month that let outsiders build software for the iPhone and the iPod touch. Microsoft (MSFT) executives aren't sure yet whether they'll find worthwhile opportunities to sell iPhone software – but they seem eager to find out.

"It's really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone," Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Specialized Devices and Applications Group, told Fortune on Monday. "To the extent that Mac Office customers have functionality that they need in that environment, we're actually in the process of trying to understand that now."

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