A day after Microsoft’s Courier concept (a double-screen tablet) leaked and surprised many with its coolness, Redmond rumors hit the snooze bar again with leaked images of two new Microsoft-branded phones. The images are supposed to be concepts of two handsets, codenamed Turtle and Pure, that are part of Microsoft’s secret “Project Pink.” The device images were leaked late Wednesday courtesy of gadget blog Gizmodo, which also broke the Courier story earlier this week.
Some of the rumors coming out with the new images match things we’ve heard before. Turtle and Pure are said to be the work of engineers from Danger–the makers of the Sidekick handset–which Microsoft acquired last year. The Pink phones may have Zune-like software or at the very least will access the online Zune Marketplace for music, videos, and other content. Microsoft designed the hardware, but it will be manufactured by Sharp–the company that also made some of the Sidekick phones. Turtle and Pure handsets will feature the Microsoft and Sharp brand names.
Danger Plays it Safe
Judging by the photos, it doesn’t look like the Danger folks were gunning for originality when they signed on with Microsoft. The handset that I assume is called Turtle looks like a smaller version of the Palm Pre, and Pure is just a regular slider phone with round edges. Gizmodo says Microsoft designed these phones for the younger set, just like Danger did with the Sidekick. Sure, T-Mobile’s new Sidekick LX sports Exchange support, and maybe the Pink phones will too, but Turtle and Pure are supposed to be about entertainment and fun, not business.
No word on pricing yet or what any of the specs will be, but it sounds like these phones are getting close to production, and may hit store shelves in a few months. Until then, let me know what you think of Microsoft’s stab at the multimedia smartphone.