Danger has a new name: Microsoft
February 11, 2008
While Microsoft may not have had any success yet with their acquisition of Yahoo!, their sights elsewhere have proven deadly: Microsoft has acquired Danger, the company responsible for the Danger OS, which is seen on Sidekick and Hiptop devices as made famous by Paris Hilton and other Generation-Y celebrities. The move is interesting given Danger’s record of putting out an amazingly simple user interface (UI), compared to the complicated and much less stable Windows Mobile offering.
The critic in us fears that this may be the death of the Danger OS, as a corporate giant like Microsoft will undoubtedly attempt to somehow blend their two mobile offerings. Then again, this could be big news, as it may mean that the Danger OS API will finally be free to everyone, and applications for it distributed freely as well. This latter obstacle has been the bane of Sidekick users, who have been limited to select application offerings that cost money to purchase. Meanwhile, dozens of useful applications by third-party developers rarely see the light of day, which could have skyrocketed the desire for the Sidekick at such critical times as when Helio and Apple were launching their respective products.
Arguably, where the iPhone is king-of-the-hill for touch-screen usability, the Sidekick is king-of-the-hill for a mobile device sporting a physical keyboard. Whereas the iPhone has been unlocked and jailbroken, the Sidekick platform has been relegated to a degree of obscurity because of how locked down it has been, but this could feasibly change. Dismissing our internal critic, Microsoft could very well bring to the Danger OS the very features that would again make it competitive: a full-screen browser, more sophisticated hardware, and a slow push to encompass an audience not centered around mySpace users.