Zune phone en route

Zune, the music player; Zune the service; Zune, the software; Zune the lifestyle brand; Zune, the cellphone? The iPod beat Microsoft to the portable music device market by what, five years, so don't be surprised that it doesn't look like they're going to let Apple off so easily on a cellphone -- especially not while they've got a fighting chance. At a press conference today, Chris Stephenson, GM for Zune, told the press, "A Zune phone is definitely part of the future of this brand." We did definitely hear before that Microsoft was working toward setting up an MVNO, but even if that never takes off, there's no reason to believe the Zunephone won't spring to life regardless. As much as we love our HTCs, let's just hope it isn't a Windows Mobile device given a facelift -- we all know that, like PlaysForSure, the problems with adapting off-the-shelf Microsoft stuff are more than skin deep.

[Thanks, Joel]