Patent reveals Microsoft's Zune Nano, reminds us of an ambitious past

See that there? That's a hope and a dream, both of which are seemingly situated in a nondescript box six feet beneath the surface of reality. Thanks to a bit of digging by the folks at Techie Buzz, a Microsoft patent was unearthed containing pictures and descriptions of a bantam media player, not unlike the sketches here. Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is an iPod nano competitor, and one has to wonder when exactly the plug was pulled from such an initiative. The application itself was originally filed in April of 2009, and was just made public within the USPTO database today -- the last Zune device to be produced was the HD (which landed in the fall of '09), and given Redmond's insistence on making Windows Phone 7 its next Zune, we're guessing this little guy won't ever see the light of day. Maybe in another life, though. For now, feel free to pour one out as you think of what could've been, and give that source link a poke if you're good at holding back tears.