Microsoft expected to launch 'Pink' smartphone April 12

Whatever Microsoft does, it needs to build mobile momentum, analyst says

Microsoft is sending out invitations to a mystery event for press and analysts on April 12 that could be the unveiling of a new "Pink" smartphone or a new "Courier" tablet/ e-reader that opens like a book with dual screens.

Neither product has been confirmed by Microsoft officially, and Microsoft officials could not be reached today to comment. Various sources have pieced together tidbits and photos of each device based on unnamed sources and rumors. According to Engadget , which said it received an invitation via "snail mail," the mystery event will be held in San Francisco and has been been described cryptically with the words, "It's time to share. "

Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates who also got one of the mystery invitations, said the event could be to announce the rumored Pink phone, the Courier or something else. "I'd be surprised it's Pink, since that was expected later in the year," he said.

One industry source who asked not to be named said the event will focus on Pink, however.

The Pink has been shown in early versions to several analysts who said they had seen it but were not allowed to discuss it under nondisclosure agreements. Several of those analysts, all of whom asked not to be named, said that it seems to share elements of the Windows Phone 7 Series operating system with earlier Windows Mobile OS versions. Microsoft announced the new OS in February at Mobile World Congress and demonstrated it to reporters at the CTIA trade show in March on prototype hardware.

The Pink is expected to be a Microsoft smartphone that uses the company's own hardware and software, several analysts have said. The Windows Phone 7 Series OS, however, will appear later this year on devices made by various cell phone makers that traditionally have built Windows Mobile-based phones.

Gold and other analysts said it is critical for Microsoft to show it can innovate with mobile devices. "They have absolutely lost momentum in the mobile space and have been a non-player in e-readers," Gold said. "If they can't get momentum soon, it's not going to matter."

Gold said it is possible that Microsoft could be so desperate to show momentum that it will announce on April 12 a reference design for a new phone that third parties would fully develop, not a complete device.

If Microsoft is announcing Courier, it would be coming shortly after Apple started shipping its iPad tablet on Friday . Some analysts have dubbed 2010 as the year of the e-reader device, with dozens of such devices expected to hit the market.

Of all the tablets coming out, including the iPad , Microsoft's concept for Courier could be the most unusual, with its dual screens. Microsoft was expected to launch the Courier at the CES trade show in January, but the device never appeared.

Reports of the Courier started to emerge last fall, describing the device as more of a day planner/notebook than as an e-reader. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at one point had said the company was not interested in creating an e-reader.

Based on what was reported in the fall, first by Gizmodo, Courier would have two 7-inch color screens with a hinge in the middle to allow it to close like a book. It would also allow input with a stylus or pen for handwriting, or multi-touch from a user's fingers. Wi-Fi connectivity and a camera on the back would be provided as well.

Will Stofega, an analyst at market research firm IDC, said it makes sense that either the Courier or the Pink could be announced, but the event could also be as simple as an announcement of a refresh of Microsoft's application store.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsofte-readerspink

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?