Microsoft readies Zune service for non-Zune devices, Marketplace appears in WinMo 6.5 screenshot

We're just days away from Mobile World Congress where Microsoft is expected to make a few notable announcements. Until then, we have to settle for all the hints and innuendo we can gather as Redmond attempts to win back the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of consumers infatuated with Android, WebOS, and whatever Apple's got cookin'. Like these supposed 6.5 screenshots above, this time showing what looks like a Marketplace store a la the Zune. We also have CNET reporting today that Microsoft quietly split its Zune team in two on January 22nd: software and services under Enrique Rodriguez, and hardware under Tom Gibbons who just happens to heads-up hardware design at Microsoft's Windows Mobile unit. According to Rodriguez, "Zune the service needs to transcend Zune the device" adding, "The goal is to make non-gaming entertainment a first-class citizen within Microsoft's business." That includes expanding the Zune service beyond the Zune and onto more devices than just Microsoft's. Or, "a little further out than just in Redmond," to quote Rodriguez directly. While he wouldn't say specifically when it was coming to Windows Mobile, he did say to expect products other than the Zune player to be using the Zune service sometime this year. Now, armed with those Zune-centric WinMo 6.5 screenshots and project Pink leaks, it's not too much a stretch to expect a Zune-like WinMo experience to be detailed in Barcelona. Besides, isn't it about time that Danger made good on that estimated $500 million acquisition?

Read -- CNET interview
Read -- Latest WinMo 6.5 screenshots