So that meeting a few days ago where financial analysts physically beat a few choice WinMo 7 nuggets out of Robbie Bach yielded something else that's pretty interesting, too: the expansion of the Zune franchise. Virtually everyone and their mother has been calling for a Zunephone since the day the first Zune 30 rolled off the assembly line, and a very, very carefully-worded statement by Bach in the meeting has us believing that we could finally see it make the bold leap to GSM (or CDMA, or both) this year. In response to a question about how Zune fits into Microsoft's mobile strategy, Bach had this to say:
"Now, your other question was about I'm getting old. Zune, so Zune has been critically successful. And the way Zune is going to be successful for us in the future is you should think of that as our media service across multiple screens. We'll continue to have the Zune device screen. But, we now have Zune on Xbox. We have Zune on the PC. There are other places where Zune logically could go that we don't get to talk about yet. And I think lots of different screens with that capability can go."
If you read between the lines there, it certainly sounds like Robbie's got his eyes on the prize -- but whether Zune will come to Windows Mobile or live as its own brand remains to be seen. No guarantees, but we're hoping all will be revealed at MWC next month.