Microsoft and Apple have a turbulent past and now Microsoft is once again piggybacking on Apple’s innovation by looking at ways to leverage the recently released iPhone SDK.
It’s encouraging to see Microsoft working in this space, though its commitment is still in question.
Tom Gibbons, part of Microsoft’s Specialized Devices and Applications Group told Fortune that “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.”
Microsoft has developed software for Macintosh computers for along time and “it delivers millions of dollars in profit for the company with its Mac version of the Office productivity suite.”
One possible solution Microsoft could develop using the iPhone SDK is voice activated functions, especially with its established voice recognition unit, TellMe. If the iPhone SDK supports voice recording and location-based information, Mike McCue from the TellMe unit says “we’re absolutely going to get a version out there as soon as we can, get TellMe out there on the iPhone.”
Here are more details on the iPhone SDK from Wikipedia:
The SDK will allow developers to make applications for the iPhone and iPod touch, as well as test them in an “iPhone simulator.” However, loading an application onto the devices is only possible after paying a $99 Apple Developer Connection membership fee. The SDK is available immediately, while the launch of applications will require waiting until a firmware update in June, 2008. This update will be free for iPhone users, however, there will be a charge for iPod touch owners.
Developers are free to set any price for their applications to be distributed through the Application Store, of which they will receive a 70% share. Developers can also opt to release the application for free and will not pay any costs to release or distribute the application beyond for the $99 membership fee.