Microsoft Absorbs Sidekick Maker Danger Inc.

Out of left field, Microsoft has bought Danger Inc.—best known as the Hiptop/Sidekick's daddy—for an undisclosed hunk of cash. Fear not, Sidekick fans, it'll be business as usual on that front. But this pretty much confirms that Microsoft's new growth strategy in areas it's obsessed with but weak in is simple, ill-fitted assimilation. Obviously, the goal is to grab Danger's mobile expertise, but I'm not really seeing the mesh here. Well, two words, maybe: Zune Phone. The full, official details below.

Microsoft Agrees to Acquire Danger Inc., Strengthens Mobile Consumer Vision Acquisition of popular software and mobile services company will enhance Microsoft's ability to broadly deliver compelling mobile experiences.

REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 11, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Danger Inc., the company responsible for the software and services powering many popular consumer handsets. The acquisition will align Danger's nearly 10 years of expertise in the mobile consumer space with Microsoft's vision to provide innovative and compelling mobile experiences to a growing base of customers.
"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."

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company provides services that allow people to keep in touch, stay organized and keep informed while on the go through real-time mobile messaging, social networking services and other applications ― all blended together on a single phone that is intuitive and customizable.

"Danger continues to provide an effortless and fun mobile experience for consumers," said Henry R. Nothhaft, chairman and CEO of Danger Inc. "Now by combining our uncompromised application software and powerful back-end service with Microsoft, we can expand our innovative service offerings even further and take mobility to a new level."

A Grasp on Consumers

Danger has connected with a customer base that is young and enthusiastic, Internet-savvy and socially inclined. The Danger team has a deep understanding of consumers and a hold on what people want from mobility, making it an ideal group to work with in delivering connected experiences. Adding Danger to the Entertainment and Devices Division will provide Microsoft with additional assets and resources that will accelerate the company's entry into the consumer space and complement the company's focus on delivering innovative technologies and services that connect people's entertainment and information.

Danger will further expand people's mobile options by bringing a variety of established partnerships to the mix. Microsoft software can be found on more than 160 mobile phones made by more than 50 hardware partners, which are offered through more than 160 mobile operators around the world.
Defining the Mobile Experience

Through focused efforts Danger has successfully delivered a software and services platform to the mobile mass market. Applications on Danger-powered handsets include HTML Web browsing, instant messaging, games, multimedia, social networking, Web e-mail and personal information management applications.

Combining these services with Microsoft's connected entertainment and experiences technologies, including MSN, Xbox, Zune, Windows Live and Windows Mobile, will provide Microsoft with the tools to accelerate its work to create industry-leading entertainment and communication experiences for consumers.

[Danger]