Skyline, Skymarket and SkyBox – MS takes on MobileMe, BES

Taking the lead from Mr Zheng from istartedsomething.com, I have taken a good look around Microsoft’s job postings, and have revealed a whole raft of projects by Microsoft to retake the mobile initiative from RIM and Apple.

From reading about 20 job postings, it seems Skyline is a business focused service which will integrate Microsoft-hosted Exchange-like services to consumers and small businesses. This will be Microsoft’s attempt to directly gain subscription revenue from mobile consumers, much like RIM thrives on subscription revenue from their 15 million captive users. It will also integrate other MobileMe-like value added services and leverage existing Microsoft properties like Hotmail and surrounding services.

Integral that that is Skybox, which is server-based technology, definitely all about the cloud, and from the name I can only assume involved online storage.

Of course, after istartedsomething.com’s scoop, we now know Skymarket is an online market place modeled on the App store from the iPhone.

Now such an initiative may seem like it would take years to get to fruition, but the team dedicated to developing the services are using agile development methods and plan to go from conception to delivery in less than 12 months.

What seems to be missing from this bundle is any services based on entertainment and media, but hopefully the promised Zune/Windows Mobile integration will take care of that.

As usual, it seems all it takes is some good competition to stir the giant. I look forward to see where all these great initiatives are going.

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