Microsoft Acquires Danger Inc., Makes Other Mobile Plays

Timed with the 2008 Mobile World Congress taking place in Barcelona this week, Microsoft made announcements pushing its interests further into the consumer and global mobile market.

Most notably, the company announced it will acquire Danger Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based handheld software developer that, through its proprietary OS, serves phones like the T-Mobile Sidekick with Web browsing, instant messaging and other capabilities.

"The addition of Danger serves as a perfect complement to our existing software and services, and also strengthens our dedication to improving mobile experiences centered around individuals and what they like," commented Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, in a press release.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Microsoft also announced two changes of note for Windows Live development. First, the company announced a new software development kit (SDK) as well as changes to its Mobile Services Protocol that together will allow developers to create applications built off Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live spaces "for any phone operating system," the company said.

"Our Windows Live @mobile program is all about enabling operators to deploy our services as quickly as possible by providing standard ways to launch our services," said Matt Champagne, director of product management in Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business, in a prepared statement. "By providing developers with access to these platforms, we are enabling operators to provide access to Windows Live services for their customers and make money, as well."

At the same time, the company announced Windows Live @mobile, "a new program that allows operators to adopt and deploy Windows Live services," it said. "These standard deals support different business models, providing operators with several choices, including subscriptions, transactions or advertising so they fit with their existing business or new business ideas."

Redmond also announced the following:

For more information on any of these announcements, use the links above.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital projects at the company, including launching and running the group's popular virtual summit and Coffee talk series . She an experienced tech journalist (20 years), and before her current position, was the editorial director of the group's sites. A few years ago she gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web browser technology would impact online advertising for publishers. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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