Microsoft to Launch "Pink" Smartphones on April 12?

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Microsoft stirred up some speculation on Monday with invitations to a mysterious press event on April 12. The invitations, sent by snail-mail in circular packages, feature the message "It's time to share," along with an invitation to the mystery event.

Microsoft Pink? (Gizmodo Photo)
According to the author of the WindowsPhoneSecrets Blog, Paul Thurrott, as well as an unnamed CNET source and an unnamed ComputerWorld source, the event will be centered on the unveiling of the new Microsoft smartphone platform code-named "Pink."

Two new phones, code-named the "Pure" and the "Turtle," are also expected to be unveiled at the event. Both phones were designed by Danger--the makers of the T-Mobile Sidekick handset--and manufactured by Sharp. Images of the Pure and Turtle were leaked in September of last year, and specs were leaked just last month. According the most recent leak, which came from Gizmodo, the OS on both phones is, like Windows Phone 7 and the Zune OS, based on Windows CE.

The new phones are targeted at a younger crowd--the same crowd at which the Sidekick was initially targeted. While the Sidekick focused more on texting and less on media, the new phones are expected to feature lots of social networking support for the Twitter-and-Facebook crowd, as well as the Zune music service.

The new phones are not expected to run Windows Phone 7; they're expected to run a modified version of the Danger OS (with Windows CE as the core). ZDNet also suggests (based on the Tweets of custom rom maker Conflipper) that there are two other (CDMA) phones in the works, code-named "Lion" and "Pride." All Pink phones are expected to be launched on the Verizon network, with the rumored tagline: "Make your network more social."

Some pundits are also speculating that Microsoft may also debut its is-it-real-or-not dual-screen tablet, dubbed the "Courier," just a week after Apple's iPad release. However, it's still most likely that we'll just see new phones. Thurrott believes so, too, writing on his blog that the upcoming event is "not a Courier event."

Microsoft has done a pretty good job of drumming up speculation with its mysterious event invitations, but Apple still seems to be pulling ahead: Apple announced Monday that it will be giving the public a sneak peek of the iPhone OS 4.0 on April 8, just four days before Microsoft's event.

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