By John Gruber
Atoms: We are not selling shoes this time…
In my brief comments yesterday on the new touchscreen Zune HD that is set to debut September 15, I noted:
Clearly, the Zune HD is going to be compared to the iPod Touch. Its biggest shortcoming is that it’s just a media player and web browser; no apps, no games.
I mean, why not? The software platform has quickly become a major driving force behind the sales growth of the iPhone and iPod Touch. Microsoft is a software platform company. “Developers developers developers”, right?.
Well, it ends up third-party apps are on Microsoft’s agenda for the Zune HD, and they’re attempting to court at least some successful indie iPhone developers to port their apps to the Zune.
After my post, I got an email from the developer of an iPhone Twitter client. He was contacted by Microsoft a few months ago, with an offer to port his app to the Zune in exchange for “a bucket of money”. He turned them down, but assumes, as I do, that Microsoft reached out to the developers of multiple popular iPhone apps.
My source is certain the offer was for the Zune, but because he turned it down early on, he doesn’t know the details regarding the OS or SDK. If any other iPhone developers have gotten a similar pitch from Microsoft, I’d love to hear about it.