"What is Zune HD? Zune HD is a couple things. Number one, Zune HD is a music player with a nice music service. By the way, the same software will be available on Windows Phones and Windows PCs. You have that today on the PC, you'll see that in our phone environment as well."
Straight from Ballmer's mouth to your eyes and ears. Ballmer dropped this tasty morsel during an interview with CNET. Now of course there is no mention of WHEN, but like pocketnow.com, I believe it won't happen until the Windows Mobile 7 OS launches. Even the most powerful of the current crop of Windows Mobile devices probably would choke on a full Zune HD experience.
This is, without a question, excellent news. Microsoft desperate needs to integrate its different platforms in an intelligent way and this is absolutely one of them. I no longer use Windows Mobile (I switched to Android almost a year ago) and I was just saying today I can't see a reason I'd come back. This could be a reason. This would be a major upgrade over WMP at least!
I think its safe to say that this means that the Zune interface will be built into win mobile 7 in replacement of windows Media Player.
Will be interesting to see how they do this, will they water down the Zune functionality? Like remove HD FM, video support? Or will they force all mobile makers who want mobile 7 to meet a minimum hardware spec that will enable all these Zune goodies. Also how will you get your music to the phone, will they keep it tied to the software or will they allow different ways to manage music on your phone.
A lot of open questions around this and how it will work, but with the closure of Musiwave mobile tunes service it is clear that the future of music on Win Mobile is the Zune.
Wonder will we see this cross over to other Windows devices? Would love to see a x-box update that pushed a modified version of the Zune software to replace the basic music player on the console.