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Microsoft luring iPhone developers for Zune apps

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, August 14, 2009
News Categories: Digital Media

Microsoft has quietly been recruiting iPhone developers to create applications to run on its upcoming Zune HD media player. John Gruber of Daring Fireball reports that following a brief note he posted on the new 16GB and 32GB touchscreen media players, he received an email from the developer of an iPhone Twitter client, saying that he had been contacted by Microsoft and offered “a bucket of money” to port his app to the Zune. The developer in question turned down Microsoft’s offer, but assumes the company was pursuing similar agreements with the developers of multiple popular iPhone apps. Due to the fact that the developer turned down the offer early on, he wasn’t privy to what OS or SDK the company might be using for Zune development, but was adamant in the fact that the apps would be for the Zune, and not Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform.

Notably, Microsoft attempted a similar strategy in 2006 when it recruited leading iPod developers to create car, home, and portable accessories for the Zune. Despite support from a number of well-known companies, which brought over designs that were originally developed for the iPod, the Zune accessory program ultimately resulted in little traction for Microsoft, and the products substantially faded from store shelves.

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I’m looking forward to the Zune HD and the new iPod touch. Although I would have preferred bigger album art MS has a pretty nice interface on there, and it’s always the interface or ease of use that are traditionally cited as draws to the iPod.

Posted by Fanman on August 14, 2009 at 6:16 AM (PDT)


Note that MS is not calling it the Microsoft Zune, just Zune, meaning that Microsoft as a brand is losing its cache and perhaps MS is ashamed of it.

Posted by Vito Positano on August 14, 2009 at 9:07 AM (PDT)


Microsoft and their management are pathetic. The company cannot seem to have a success in any business that does not involve their OS monopoly.  Every other venture has been a looser for them. Heaven help them if they ever lose that monopoly.

Posted by Bill Bird on August 14, 2009 at 9:23 AM (PDT)


Microsoft can never lose their monopoly.  They have absolutely no competition.  They’ve made sure that the whole computer industry would collapse without them.  That’s why they continue with that legacy software crap.  Any respectable company would have told businesses to get rid of their old equipment and keep up-to-date so the Windows OS wouldn’t have to be so bloated with old code.  What new company can come along and build an OS for 25-year old computer equipment.

I don’t see the point in Microsoft or Sony trying to lure any developers.  Just throw out the SDK and have decent software and developers will go to it.  Sony should already have a mess of games, so why are they so desperate to get developers.  From what I heard WinMobile users saying about Apple’s 65,000 apps and games all being nothing but crap, I’m beginning to wonder why they’d even want those developers.

Posted by Constable Odo on August 14, 2009 at 12:50 PM (PDT)


“Microsoft and their management are pathetic. The company cannot seem to have a success in any business that does not involve their OS monopoly.  Every other venture has been a looser for them. Heaven help them if they ever lose that monopoly.”

Uh… Ever hear of Microsoft Office?

Posted by Mark on August 14, 2009 at 8:33 PM (PDT)


Very bizarre. I thought MS was a software company? Don’t they have a few engineers who could whip out a Twitter app during lunch breaks or something?
In fact, why aren’t they making and selling a bunch of apps on the iPhone app store? Again, isn’t MS a software company?

When MS is more worried about the hardware than the software, you know the apocalypse is near. (At least for Microsoft.)

Posted by Synthmeister on August 16, 2009 at 6:07 PM (PDT)

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