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.