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.