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Monday, 15 December 2008 05:46

Microsoft not launching Zune phone at CES

Written by David Stellmack

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Our sources now confirming this isn’t happening

We have been quietly taking to our friends in the shadows over the past couple of weeks about the continued rumors that Microsoft is going to launch a Zune-branded mobile phone at CES in January. Many insist that the “Zune Phone,” as it continues to be called, would be the first project to come of Microsoft’s purchase of Danger.

In a strange turn of events, Brian Seitz, who is the group manager for the Zune products, went on the record to let everyone know that while Microsoft might have something special to show at CES, it will not be a new mobile handset carrying the Zune branding. Normally, Microsoft does not comment on speculation or rumors, so the decision to publicly deny this rumor is a strange turn of events.

Seitz did suggest that the CES announcement might have something to do with the much rumored “Project Pink,” which opinions seem to be mixed as to what this could actually be. Our sources seem to be mostly in agreement that “Project Pink” is actually a set of consumer-focused premium services that are being developed for Windows Mobile devices that will include Zune services and other service offerings that will come from the Danger acquisition.

Microsoft has long toyed with the idea of building a Zune mobile phone product, but while the concept has support within certain areas of the company, the project has been scrapped several times for reasons of cost and competition with existing Windows Mobile phone devices. Of course, our sources still insist that Microsoft continues to research and develop a mobile phone product in their secret “Skunk Works” department within the company.

While the thought of “Project Pink” actually being a set of consumer-focused premium services that are being developed for Windows Mobile devices might sound interesting, we have to believe that a Zune Phone would make a sexier splash at CES. Look for Microsoft to revisit the Zune Phone concept before the end of 2009.
Last modified on Monday, 15 December 2008 08:58
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