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Microsoft plans Apple iPhone apps

iPhone SDK could accomodate Microsoft's Mac tools

Microsoft is plans to use Apple's iPhone software developer kit (SDK) to extend its Mac products for use with the mobile phone.

As revealed by Fortune, a team of Microsoft's engineers from Microsoft's Mac Business Unit are examining the SDK to determine if there's any way to sell software for the device. The MacBU has one of the world's largest teams of Mac OS X engineers outside of Apple itself.

"It’s really important for us to understand what we can bring to the iPhone," Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Specialized Devices and Applications Group, told Fortune. "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."

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While the company's Mac engineers are exploring how to leverage the device for use beside existing applications, such as Office, another recently-acquired internal division, TellMe, is also taking a look.

Should the SDK permit location-based information access and voice recording, the voice recognition side of Microsoft's business promises "we’re absolutely going to get a version out there as soon as we can, get TellMe out there on the iPhone".

The full version of the iPhone SDK ships in June.


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