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Microsoft device really a Zune phone spec?

updated 10:20 am EST, Fri February 6, 2009

Zune Phone Spec Leak

Microsoft's rumored in-house smartphone is actually a reference design for Zune-themed phones, say sources of reporter Mary Jo Foley. Rather than stand as Microsoft's own products, multiple reference Zune phones are being made that third parties can use as the inspiration for their own models. The company hopes to play cellphone makers against each other to produce one or more particularly strong Zune-capable devices.

Most information about what the example Zune devices involve isn't known, though Windows Mobile 7 is believed to be the primary focus and would include a Zune interface as a subset alongside features like theSkyBox 2.0 online data storage service. At least one of the reference phones is believed to include an NVIDIA Tegra processor that would let it play 720p video and render more complex 3D graphics.

If verified and based on the next-generation mobile operating system, production Zune phones wouldn't likely be available until April 2010, which is gaining support as the official launch window for the first Windows Mobile 7 devices. It would come roughly three years after the iPhone and 3.5 years after Microsoft's first Zunes.

by MacNN Staff



  1. B9bot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Zune failure, now a phone

    Zune player is a failure. So now they want to make a phone out of it? What kind of non-sense is that?
    Make a failure out of a previous failure, go Microsoft!
    Sounds like there Vista SP2, I mean WIndows 7 idea too.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Typical Microsoft

    Microsoft has a history of trying to be in everything because they fear the next big thing will make their services obsolete. The browser wars is a great example, where M$ acknowledged they had failed to fully understand the importance of the emerging internet. When M$ finally realized their error they used their commanding market position to push Netscape off the playing field.

    The MP3 player market is another area where M$ missed the boat. But fortunately for Apple M$ was battling Monopoly litigation, which ironically enough was centered largely on the browser wars as a prime example. That plus no one saw the market potential and never really considered Apple's iPod as anything serious.

    As the iPod then latter iTunes grew in popularity, M$ tried to counter with their PlaysForSure. As PlaysForSure failed, M$ later attempted to compete directly with the Zune, but realistically it was/is too late and the initial entry offering was rather weak.

    M$ has had some success in trying to get into these potential game changer markets, certainly the xbox has been a huge success.

    But as far as the Zune is concerned, I think we'll see it change to a more generic platform offering to be PlaysForSure like, software based and available to the market. The other issue is that Apple is not the only competition here, the Google Android platform and several others are emerging as real competitors to M$ dominance in the smartphone/PDA markets and will probably completely debunk M$ Windows Mobile platform as the dominate Mobile OS.

    This is all a good thing, real choices - Microsoft, Apple, Google, Symbian, and Palm's recently released OS. I think with a lot of players and no one company dominating the market, open standards on mobile devices will be the norm

  1. lockhartt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    XBox Huge Success

    As of the last data I've seen, the XBox remains a money-losing venture for Microsoft.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ah, lockhartt thanks

    I did not know that. I had assumed that it was a huge success as everyone I personally know that has a gaming box has an xbox verse a PS3. I'm not a gamer so I don't follow it too much.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yeah, money loser

    it's lost an estimated 11 billion from accounts i've read, that's at the point where it acutally made a profit several quarters back.

    but that just ties into what you were saying before, except now they don't use their market share as much as they use the cash cows windows and office to support their ventures. without them xbox would never have seen a second year.

  1. smashedbanana

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So if I'm say Motorola and I've been licensing Windows Mobile 5, 6, etc. now I have to compete directly with Microsoft using their own software?

    I love microsoft. Make software, license it, and then when that isn't successful enough jump directly into competition with your partners....

    They always do this! How do they get away with it??

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    lack of focus

    you know, trying to do a lot of things not very well is a recipe for failure.

    I hope MS puts lots and lots of money into zPhone, like they did with XBox and Zune. Sooner or later they will be overwhelmed with loss leaders.

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