Rumors about the so-called Zune Phone are legendary, and in recent weeks the rumor mill has been working overtime.
Until a few days ago, many were certain that a new Microsoft-branded Zune smartphone would make its first appearance at CES 2009, but last week when Microsoft’s Brian Seitz announced that there would be “No Zune phone at CES” that line of thought was quashed.
What does not seem to have been quashed, however, is the idea that the Zune and Windows Mobile universes will soon begin to collide, no Zune Phone required. The narrative forming now is that Zune services for Windows Mobile are coming down the pike, a development known as “Project Pink” or “Zune Mobile.”
Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet first wrote about Project Pink in October. Subsequent stories suggest that Project Pink is the code-name for Zune Mobile, a suite of Zune-inspired services that will be made available for and/or in Windows Mobile.
Paul Thurrott casually referenced “Zune Mobile” in a blog post Friday. Mr. Thurrott had just returned from a meeting with the Windows Mobile team, and stated that Zune Mobile was “a new Windows Mobile platform … that includes Zune functionality.”
Is Zune Mobile part of the upcoming Windows Mobile 6.5? Is it an installation on top of Windows Mobile like some of the Live services? Anything is possible. But Zune Mobile is sure to add Zune media functionality to WinMo in some capacity. We’ll have to wait for details.
It has been known since January (when screenshots of Windows Mobile 7 were first spotted) that Zune media support was coming to Windows Mobile. Some have also suggested that an entire overhaul of the OS would (and should) reflect the the Zune players’ software interface. But with Windows Mobile 7 a year away, a stop-gab Zune-enhanced WinMo would certainly be a worthwhile offering.
We’ll keep you posted.