Microsoft Completes Buy of Sidekick Smartphone Maker, Danger

Sidekicks have been popular with consumers, a market Microsoft is keen to crack.
Microsoft this week completed its purchase of Sidekick smartphone-maker Danger, an acquisition announced by the companies in February.

Rather than Windows Mobile, which Redmond's been pushing in one form or another for the past eight years, the Sidekick, available from T-Mobile in the U.S., runs on Danger's own hiptop platform.

And whereas Microsoft found most of the success for its smartphone platform with mobile professionals and the enterprise, the Sidekick's been popular with consumers, especially with younger demographics and the less technically savvy. That's a market Microsoft is keen to exploit, in part through the expertise obtained with Danger.

Danger will be absorbed into Microsoft's Premium Mobile Experiences team, a group within Mobile Communications Business of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. Premium Mobile Experiences is led by corporate VP Roz Ho. Danger co-founders Matt Hershenson and Joe Britt will join the new organization, reporting directly to Ho.

Anyone who owns or used a Sidekick knows its all about messaging and interaction with others. “We imagine a mobile experience that embraces sharing and celebrating relationships and personal moments," said Microsoft's Ho, in reference to the Danger purchase. “Combining Danger and Microsoft talents together in the Premium Mobile Experiences team is how we’re going to deliver cool, new, fun mobile experiences to consumers," Ho added.

“At Danger, we created a fun and easy-to-use mobile experience for today’s Internet-savvy consumer,” Britt said. “As we combine our team and technologies with Microsoft, we see a clear path to evolving that experience and delivering it to an even broader group of consumers,” added partner Hershenson.

Danger employees will continue to work from their current offices. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

The messaging-centric (e.g. IM, texting, e-mail) Sidekick has, with each succeeding generation over the last five years, gained more features, while becoming thinner and more compact along the way. The most-recent additions, the LX and Slide, are no exceptions.

Sidekick Slide Open

As with previous Sidekicks, the Sidekick LX's display flips up to reveal its QWERTY thumb-keyboard. However, at 3 inches and 400 x 240 pixel (WQVGA), the display is larger and sports a higher resolution than the Sidekick 3's 2.6-inch, 240 x 160 pixel type screen.

The Slide is the thinnest and smallest Sidekick model yet. It is also the first Sidekick to deviate from this smartphone's usual swivel-screen-to-reveal-a-QWERTY-keyboard design. Instead, the Slide's display, as the name implies, slides up to reveal its keyboard.

This article was first published on

Comment and Contribute


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.