Microsoft steps towards portable Xbox with Danger purchase
With Microsoft's announcement today to buy cell phone software maker Danger Inc., the deal may not only strengthen the software giant's position in consumer mobile phones and strengthen defenses against Google's Android platform, but also mean a new addition for gamers.
The acquisition will provide more applications to Xbox through existing Danger services, Microsoft said. However, the possibility of a portable Xbox arises from Danger's wide range of software, which can be made capable of playing some Xbox games, with the company's gadgets used as the foundation for a portable gaming device capable of making phone calls.
"Microsoft is a global leader with our Windows Mobile software and expanding mobile services," said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. "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."
Microsoft intends to combine Danger's applications, including HTML Web browsing, instant messaging, games, multimedia, social networking, and Web email into Xbox, as well as MSN, Zune, Windows Live, and Windows Mobile.
Danger's broad software portfolio also provides the opportunity to play lightweight Xbox games in future versions, according to Dan Frommer from Forbes.
"Another plus: Because Danger doesn't build its own gadgets, Microsoft can pick the manufacturing strategy that makes the most sense," Frommer said. "For now, it can keep outsourcing devices to partners like Motorola, which also makes Windows Mobile phones. And later, if it wants, Microsoft can merge Danger's gadgets into its Zune line -- or use it as the basis for a portable Xbox that also makes phone calls."