Sidekick Mobile Phone with NetBSD: Microsoft's Next?

Feb 04, 2009

Over a year ago Microsoft bought the software company Danger, popular in the U.S. for its Sidekick mobile phone. A new model is coming out, this time running on NetBSD.

Indications are clear from the Hiptop3.com site (claiming no affiliation with Danger but still leaning heavily toward Sidekick) that Microsoft is planning to equip its next generation of Sidekick devices with the NetBSD platform. Hinting at this is a Microsoft job posting for a NetBSD developer and a Danger employee mailing list post from a few years back. Apparently Danger had been working on a NetBSD port as far back as 2007.

The Sidekick LX model for 2009, which should start appearing mid-year, runs on an ARM processor. The hardware originates from Motorola and Sharp. For a long time it was assumed that Microsoft would equip the Sidekick with its Zune software based on Windows CE, the only OS from Microsoft with the ARM processor. If the rumors on Hiptop3.com were to prove true, Microsoft is more likely inclined to drop the Windows CE support in favor of the more reliable NetBSD.

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