IT Pro Speculates on the Zune Phone
"Following Microsoft's partner conference in the US last week, it seems the answer is clear - you combine all these elements together and make a smartphone based on the Zune software and user interface. Sources close to the situation have confirmed that just such a device is in the works, which is great news as it would easily provide respectable competition to Apple's iPhone. All the components are in place - Windows Mobile as the underlying OS, the Zune user interface for the front-end, tweaked and extended using the team and technology at Danger (the company behind the front-end ssoftware for the Sidekick smartphone, which is based on Windows CE)."
Above: the completely fake mock-ups of a mythical Zune Phone from Zune Scene.
It seems like every couple of months there's a resurgence of Zune Phone rumours - I've never seen so much hopeful excitement over a product that doesn't exist other than the iPhone. People seem to really want to see this product come to market. This latest rumour seems to have a bit of teeth to it, coming on the heels of the Microsoft partner conference. But is there really going to be a Zune phone? I just don't know - on the one hand, Microsoft's Windows Mobile phone business is doing solid numbers, and making money for the company, so why would they want to alienate all their hardware partners by doing their own phone? On the other hand, Windows Mobile is very enterprise-focused and perhaps the Zune guys feel they could hit the ball out of the park with a consumer-focused phone. Given the inability of Windows Mobile to resonate with consumers thus far, perhaps the Zune can make some headway in this market?