Well, believe it or not, but Microsoft is working to converge Zune with Windows Mobile. With the advent of the iPhone, Microsoft, through the voice of Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, revealed that the company would not diverge from its current path of focusing on delivering only the Windows Mobile platform, and go for a hardware plus software solution designed as an Apple phone killer. The Redmond company consistently denied rumors that it would follow Apple in turning Zune into a phone. And the latest details on the Zune and Windows Mobile strategy from Microsoft come to confirm that the Zune Phone will not become a reality.
But this is not to say that Zune and Windows Mobile are not converging. Mel Sampat, Windows Mobile Program Manager, asked end users for feedback regarding a scenario involving: "Zune + Windows Mobile = Better Together?". "What are some ways the Zune player and a Windows Mobile device can work better together? I'm not referring to an imaginary 'Zune phone', and I'm certainly not hinting or speculating about a converged device," Sampat stated.
So, at this point in time at least, Zune is not turning into a phone. But what exactly does Zune + Windows Mobile mean? "Instead, I'm wondering if there are any opportunities for us to improve the experience for people who use both devices (a Zune and a Windows Mobile phone). For example, viewing your Zune Social network in IEMobile, converting a Zune playlist into .WMA ringtones, converting Zune's artwork to Windows Mobile themes, showing your Windows Mobile contacts as pictures in Zune etc. If you can think of similar interesting or compelling scenarios, we'd love to hear them," Sampat added.
Sampat's words reveal nothing more than the potential bridging of Windows Mobile and Zune. A high level of interoperability between the Windows Mobile and Zune devices would certainly create a new and expanded ecosystem for Microsoft, stretching from mobile phones to the digital media players. But there is also more to this. The Redmond company is looking to take Zune to mobile phones.
"We need to be pioneering exciting concepts. Zune probably over time will have not only the Zune player and Zune on PC, but it would be great to have Zune on phones, and how does all that progress. So, innovation and stuff that people just say, wow, got to have that, that's number one," Ballmer stated during the Student Minority Day BAM 2008 - February 8.