Rumors have been swirling for some time that the folks in Redmond are in the process of getting a Zune phone ready for market. Recently, those rumors have broadened to indicate that Microsoft is working on a Windows Mobile phone of their own brand. A conversation with Windows Mobile heavyweight John Starkweather puts those rumors to bed. From Mr. Starkweather:
“1) Microsoft is not going into the phone hardware business
2) Microsoft is not building a Zune-specific phone
3) We’re deepening our relationships 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 lustworthy. The upcoming availability of Windows Mobile 6.5 software will enable our OEM partners to build even more compelling devices in a wide-range of form factors for customers around the world.”
Microsoft has always worked with partners in the Windows Mobile space, and as these statements indicate, that is not going to change. We won’t be seeing a Microsoft-branded phone anytime soon, so we can all stand down.