This article just popped up on my Google reader just after I posted my last article about how Android is a bigger threat to Microsoft than it is to Apple. I have heard rumors of a Microsoft Zune phone for some time now but always dismissed them. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has always been very adamant about following the OS only approach,
With Windows Mobile, we want to permit a range of hardware innovation, and yet, still have a pretty good experience end-to-end, with good applications, and we want the ability for software developers to target both a very high-end and a lower range or mid-range phone. And the ability to scale up and down, to work with multiple hardware vendors, to get a range of competition and innovation and price competition amongst the hardware guys is a big asset. It is certainly what our strategy is.
However, a recent article in All Things Digital has eluded to new evidence that may suggest that Microsoft is prepping to launch the Zune phone very shortly, possibly within the next two months.
It’s intriguing to see that talk of Microsoft’s (MSFT)long-rumored ‘Pink’ phone project has started up again. In a note to clients today, Jefferies analyst Katherine Egbert claims that Redmond is gearing up to launch a phone based on WindowsMobile7.
“Our recent industry checks indicate Microsoft will be debuting its own phone sometime in the next two months,” Egbert writes. “We expect the new phone to debut soon, at either the Feb 15-18 Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona Spain, or possibly at CTIA in Las Vegas one month later.”