Print 21 comment(s) - last by Kode.. on Mar 30 at 10:43 PM

Tom Gibbons, Microsoft VP, is leading Microsoft's charge to support the iPhone, heading a team of engineers who are working to develop third-party apps for the iPhone.  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft may look to launch an Office suite on iPhone

Microsoft and Apple may be rivals, but that doesn't stop Microsoft from being very excited about developing possible applications for the iPhone, according to recent reports.  

Soon after the release of Apple's third party software developer kit (SDK) for the iPhone, Microsoft set an entire team of engineers to work analyzing it.  Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Specialized Devices and Applications Group, states, "It’s really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone.  To the extent that Mac Office customers have functionality that they need in that environment, we’re actually in the process of trying to understand that now."

The move is not an entirely new one either.  Microsoft has long maintained a group of engineers tasked with porting Microsoft software to Apple's operating systems.  Microsoft's Mac Business Unit is based in Mountain View, Calif., cozily close to Apple's headquarters, which is just miles away.  The Mac Business Unit has been extremely successful in marketing the Microsoft Office Suite to Mac users.  Though Microsoft refuses to release figures on the unit, one of its most lucrative, Fortune magazine estimates that it did around $350M USD in business last year, and may have made as much as $200M USD in profit.

Microsoft has taken a strange sense of pride in being the best Apple developer other than Apple.  Microsoft's extensive experience with OS X and its inside knowledge of the Microsoft Exchange protocols the iPhone is adopting for business email means that Microsoft should be primed to deliver some powerful iPhone applications.

Gibbons states, "We do have experience with that environment, and that gives us confidence to be able to do something.  The key question is, what is the value that we need to bring? We’re still getting comfortable with the SDK, right? It’s just come out. So we had a guess as to what feasibility would be like, now we’ll really get our head wrapped around that."

Microsoft's voice recognition unit TellMe, a recent acquisition, is also eyeing the iPhone.  TellMe's primary focus is in developing for the Windows Mobile operating system.  While the situation may be slightly ironic, it is pure business and general manager Mike McCue says that as long as the iPhone SDK supports voice recording and location based technology, TellMe will be all over it.  McCue states, "If the SDK supports these things we’re absolutely going to get a version out there as soon as we can, get TellMe out there on the iPhone."

In June, Apple will release an update which will allow third-party SDK-based software.  Until then Microsoft will be busy coding, coming up with new products for the iPhone.  Business certainly makes strange bedfellows.

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Cut me a break
By Poloasis on 3/26/2008 3:53:13 PM , Rating: -1
Ya, I have 30 books on an Excel file that I need to get ready for the next meeting and I'm actually finalizing it on my iPhone.
Cut me a freaking break M$

I'm sorry, but this is getting ridiculous, why don't they fix Vista instead.

RE: Cut me a break
By bhieb on 3/26/2008 4:31:03 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry, but this is getting ridiculous, why don't they fix Vista instead.

This has nothing to do with Vista you troll, they are completly different business units. Are you suggesting that someone programming for the iPhone division is in any way qualified to be working on an OS? Crawl back in your hole, and quit trying to stir sh&*t up, moron.

RE: Cut me a break
By stargazr on 3/26/2008 4:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
Coz they want to get as much profit as possible by developing for the iPhone.

RE: Cut me a break
By See Spot Run on 3/26/2008 5:22:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but this is getting ridiculous, why don't they fix Vista instead.

You know, DailyTech just put up this new article about how stats show that Nvidia's drivers caused the greatest percentage of Vista crashes.

Very little Microsoft can do to fix another companies drivers...

RE: Cut me a break
By Kode on 3/30/2008 10:43:43 PM , Rating: 2
Very little Microsoft can do to fix another companies drivers...

True, but they can change the way the operating system reacts to a crash due to a faulty driver. It's not because a driver makes a mistake that the entire system has to crash.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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