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New Zune entertainment services on tap for June?

There's a new Zune rumor: Something new and Zune-related is coming in June. And Microsoft's ad attack on the iPod/iTunes that the company launched this week is fueling the fire.
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There's a new Zune rumor: Something new and Zune-related is coming in June. And Microsoft's ad attack on the iPod/iTunes that the company launched this week is fueling the fire.

I've seen folks speculating that the June announcement could be the new Zune HDs. Or the Microsoft Pink phone/services combination. Instead, here's what I think is happening (based on educated guesses, not any information from Microsoft) over the coming months in the Zune and Zune-related arenas:

* May 14, 2009: According to various sources, Microsoft is expected to release a Zune software update. Not clear if that includes a firmware update or not.

* June, 2009: Given that the E3 Expo s slated for June 2-4, I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft unveil some piece of its long-promised entertainment services strategy. They've been dropping hints (the "3 screens" -- portable device, TV and PC -- references that CEO Ballmer and Chief Software Architect Ozzie have made recently. It would make sense for Microsoft to roll out shared Zune entertainment services across these three screens right around E3.

(Update: Microsoft doesn't own the Twitter feed from which all this Zune speculation has arisen. It's not a sanctioned Microsoft feed, a spokesperson told me this afternoon. But I'm still betting there could be a Zune-services-related announcement at E3.)

* Fall 2009: Microsoft is expected to launch its new line of Zune HDs. These new players are expected to look and feel a lot like Windows Mobile 7 phones. But they aren't likely to be "Zune phones." * Fall 2009: Microsoft and its partners will roll out the first Windows Mobile 6.5 phones -- which may support the aforementioned Zune entertainment services. Again, none of these devices are expected to be "Zune phones."

* Spring 2010: Microsoft and its partners will roll out Windows 7 phones -- which are likely to support the Zune entertainment services.

* Spring/summer 2010: Microsoft will announce the Pink phone. It will be made by some third-party manufacturer but likely carry the Microsoft logo. It will feature various services, including Zune entertainment services and other consumer-focused premium services built by the Danger team Microsoft acquired last year. Pink phones will be based on the Windows 7 core.

So my guess about what's coming in June: I'm thinking it is Zune entertainment services for Zune players, Windows Mobile phones, PCs and TVs. Are these Zune entertainment services -- video, audio, marketplace, etc. -- going to be part of what's been codenamed Pink? I bet they are. What's your bet?

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