updated 07:00 am EDT, Wed June 1, 2011
Microsoft may have planned a Zune nano
A patent sleuth Manan Kakkar has uncovered a Microsoft patent application in 2009 for a nano-like Zune player. The device looks very similar to the current Apple iPod nano. The main point of difference in the hardware design is that it appears to require physical controls, while the iPod nano uses a touch screen.
The design is unlikely to become realized as rumors have surfaced suggesting that Microsoft is going to kill the Zune hardware line when the Zune HD is considered obsolete. The Zune brand would continue, but only in the form of the Zune Marketplace, which is currently the primary platform through which content for the Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox 360 is delivered.