Microsoft officials (finally) denied this week that the company will be rolling out a Zune phone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. But they didn't deny they have something called "Zune Mobile" up their sleeves.
Zune Mobile seems to be a set of Zune-specific premium services for Windows Mobile devices. These services are part of what I've been calling the "Pink" services for the past several months.
A few bloggers have talked in generalities about the fact it would be a no-brainer for Microsoft to move some of the Zune services to mobile devices. But Paul Thurrott was actually the first person I saw use the "Zune Mobile" name to refer specifically to this platform, after his meeting this week with the Windows Mobile team.
One of my tipsters, who requested anonymity, recently shared a bit more context on Pink/Zune Mobile.
"Your description (of Pink as Microsoft's forthcoming set of premium mobile-services) is fairly spot on as far as I can tell -- with the caveat that Pink is a 'customer' of Zune services in the music space...not the other way around. The Musiwave acqusition playing a part there."
(When Microsoft bought Musiwave back in 2007, there was quite a bit of talk of Musicwave bringing commerce capabilities to Windows Mobile platforms.)
I wasn't among the attendees of Microsoft's invite-only Mobius conference this week. I'm sure those folks, who are under non-disclosure, know more specifics. But if I were to guess what kinds of "Zune Mobile" services we might see announced at CES, I wouldn't be surprised to see more music purchase, playing, sharing and subscribing -- and maybe even a little something special for podcasters/podcast listeners, too.
Any other guesses as to what Zune Mobile is/isn't? And anyone have more thoughts on what kinds of other premium mobile services may be coming from the Pink team (from the Danger crew, especially)?