Monday, April 12, 2010

My Take On Microsoft Pink – Before the Announcement

Today Microsoft will be announcing and releasing it’s first Microsoft Pink device. The device, targeted towards teens and those in their early twenties, will allow for better social communication (i.e. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc.). Microsoft has already partnered with Verizon Wireless--my ultimate favorite wireless provider--to sell the device. The announcement will be held at 1:00PM EST today.


What’s the point?

I don’t mean to sound condescending here with this question. But, really, what is the point of Microsoft Pink? Microsoft first began working on Pink somewhere around 2008 when it acquired Danger, Inc. There is currently a lot of speculation as to what this device will enable for most users, especially when one of its main competitors is the iPhone and the Android. Further down the road this year, I could see Windows Phone becoming yet another competitor towards Microsoft Pink. So, what really is the big deal here? I mean, why would Microsoft create two mobile platforms (Windows Phone and now Pink) to compete with each other in the market. After-all, the iPhone has only one platform and personally I think that that is one of its advantages.

So, what is Pink’s advantage? Well, its target market for one. Although many teens and young adults enjoy and rave over the iPhone, there is still a lot that can be improved with the iPhone. In some regards, they may want something that’s simpler, or connects with their friends better. That, I believe, will be Pink’s greatest advantage. It will perform the basic tasks and keep its user connected to the world (i.e. social networking). In fact, it almost sounds too good to be true, for a kid anyways.


The device’s main goal, I think, is to provide a new and better way to communicate with friends and family. Of course, you can always do this with many other phones, especially the iPhone, but why not make it simpler than that. Microsoft has also always tried to make platforms for businesses and home users. Microsoft Pink isn’t necessarily designed specifically for the average home user, but it will leave out many of the enterprise features that Windows Phone will include. However, it will probably keep, and perhaps add on to, the many multimedia features that are present in Zune.


The Device’s Platform – My Thoughts

With the Pink platform launching nearly 5 months before Windows Phone leaves many users to wonder what type of platform this device will run. I personally believe, and some would agree with me, that Microsoft Pink will be somewhat based off of the Zune HD + components of Windows Phone. In other words, it won’t be able to capture all of the Windows Phone elements, for one, because it seems like it’s a slimmed down version of Windows Phone and it comes out way before Windows Phone OS is even ready.


I also believe that this device is not meant to be the next big thing--that will be Windows Phone come five months from now—instead it will more than likely be a device that takes the best of both worlds approach. A nice overall UI (Zune + Windows Phone) along with the multimedia capabilities of Zune and finally, the ability to increase social networking and connecting with friends and family.


Keep in mind that when I discuss the phones capability of connecting with friends and family easier than previous phones, I do not mean that it will be easier to text or send messages. Any phone can do that. This phone will instead be able to connect via social sites online and get to specific information quickly and reliably. I think one feature that will hopefully be in Microsoft Pink will be the “Hubs” that are introduced in Windows Phone, or at least some variation of them. Something, for example, that allows a user aggregate all of their social information into one main, upfront location. In other words, when the user turns on their phone they will be able to see their latest Tweets, Facebook comments, Foursquare updates, etc. all in one-place, such as the welcome screen. Aggregation is the future, which is why Windows Phone is going this route and why I believe Microsoft Pink will follow suit as well.


Further Thoughts

I don’t personally believe this will be a huge game changer, especially with Windows Phone coming up the heels of Pink, but this device, I believe, is still fairly interesting. I won’t be buying one of these as my primary phone, I just don’t see the point in having a device that further allows me to connect with people whom I may not want to talk to. Plus, who really wants a device that’s targeted towards teens.


Keep in mind, however, that this entire post is based on speculation, whether or not Microsoft Pink is actually what I think it is will remain unanswered until the announcement later today. Though, I believe I am pretty close in thinking that this device will enable users to connect with friends and family much easier than any other previous devices. I’ll be looking at the announcement later today, 1:00PM EST, and will more than likely come up with a response to this article with, hopefully, more information.



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