Zune rumors heat up, MS getting ready to launch Zune software on phones?

Yeah, something is definitely up in Zuneland. Not only did images of the Zune HD leak out late last week, today AdWeek says that Microsoft's auditioning three major ad agencies for the launch of a new mobile service called "Pink" -- which is the project codename for Zune software on mobile phones. No, this doesn't mean any of those Tegra-powered Zunephone rumors are coming true -- it's far more likely that Microsoft is finally gearing up to re-launch Zune as the preferred media software and service for Windows Mobile, a plan Steve Ballmer's been hinting at for ages now. Remember, Microsoft has to keep its large stable of Windows Mobile hardware manufacturers happy, and launching a hyped new phone of its own with a Zune-based OS would basically be perceived as stabbing a billion-dollar business in the back -- not something you want to do when most of your partners are also deepinthe Android game. On the other hand, you don't audition three huge ad agencies just to launch a Zune app on busted ol' WinMo, so there could be something big cooking -- if you forced us to throw caution to the wind and just guess, what we'd want to see is that $500m Danger acquisition pay off in the form of a reskinned consumer-oriented edition of Windows Mobile that integrates Zune services, running not only on a touchscreen Zune HD, but a variety of phones from third-party partners. Wishful thinking? You bet -- probably even crazy thinking -- but it would certainly shake things up, and that's never a bad thing. We'll see how it plays out -- care to share your dream Zune strategy in the meantime?

[Via CNET]