MS Still Denies Zune Phone Hybrid, Despite Report

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has again denied reports it is planning to launch its own phone despite rumors that suggest it's working on a music-based handset to rival the iPhone.

The latest report, one of the most mainstream so far, comes from the Wall Street Journal. It says Microsoft has had discussions with Verizon about teaming up to launch a smartphone on the network.

Such a phone wouldn't just be another handset running Windows Mobile, but would have enhanced multimedia capabilities and include the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Microsoft's take on Apple's App Store, due to launch later this year.

Microsoft has repeated its previous assertion that it isn't going to start making phones, stating that "We're deepening our relationship with our hardware partners in order to create even better performing phones that are competitively priced, have the features people want, that are easy to use and just downright lust-worthy." (Source:

Microsoft 'In The Pink'?

The WSJ report cites a popular belief that Microsoft has a project named 'Pink,' which combines the Zune portable media player with a mobile phone in the same way the iPod developed into the iPhone.

When these rumors first began floating last year, they involved the device being built by Danger Inc, a firm which made the Sidekick phone, and which Microsoft purchased last year. It's possible that Microsoft is being creative with its denials and working on the basis that this set-up could technically be described as Microsoft working with a hardware firm, albeit one it owns.

If the WSJ report is accurate, Verizon may be using the Microsoft talks to improve its bargaining position in the market. According to reports, the firm has also engaged in discussions with Apple over carrying mobile devices on its network. That's particularly significant as the existing exclusive deal for AT&T to carry the iPhone expires in about a year. (Source:

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