In what could perhaps be referred to as the most concrete evidence yet pointing towards the existence of a Zune phone, recent updates to Zune software are indeed dropping specific hints about this elusive product.
The software update, released on Tuesday, carries three hardware identifiers, which are employed to load the adequate driver in case some specific device is plugged into a Windows system’s USB port.
While all the identifiers carried the cryptic string “Phone.Device”, the Zune devices carried the cryptic string “Zune.Device”, as cited by a prominent Microsoft blogger Long Zheng on “istartedsomething”.
This comes as the most concrete evidence as yet indicating some form of Zune support for mobile handsets. In addition, the blog is reporting that the hardware IDs nestled in codes are pointing out that the mobile phone must be coming from Microsoft.
Incidentally, the web is inundated with a raft of rumours, along with clues and perplexing statements made by Microsoft about its plans for the expected announcements at the Mobile World Congress scheduled in the next month.
However, if the report by istartedsomething is believed to be true, it will be interesting to see whether Microsoft will hop on to hardware field and come up with their own handset for the same, or will go for other manufacturers.
Our bet is on Microsoft to do a Google and launch its own phone while at the same time trying to get other manufacturers to design more ambitious Windows Mobile phones. But then, they'd certainly need some help in the form of a new iteration of Windows Mobile which will come out soon.. We hope.
(Seattle Post Intelligencer)