Sunday, January 31, 2010
Posted by Adam Krebs in "Zune News" @ 11:00 PM
"Coinciding with the scheduled Zune.net maintenance today, a new Zune software update was also released (version 188.8.131.52 for those playing along at home). What might appear as just a regular software update is actually hiding a very big secret. The elusive 'Zune Phone' is pretty much confirmed... there are three unique class IDs and specifically Product IDs (PID) that identify three potential “Zune Phone” models (not storage capacities) off the bat. My bet is that they’re not just capacity variants (since various Zune capacities are all grouped under the same PID), but three actual hardware SKUs."
Long Zhen never fails to disappoint. The amateur coder and proprietor of istartedsomething.com cracked open the new Zune 4.2 software to reveal driver support for three upcoming phone models. Though the hardware ID listed shows Microsoft as the manufacturer there's no indication that they're the rumored Zune phone (which Microsoft has gone on record several times to deny.) So they could just be generic Windows Mobile 7 phones, right? Well not exactly. As we learned from the Palm Pre-masquerading as an iPod so it could sync with iTunes debacle a few months back, the USB-IF doesn't allow hardware vendors to mask their associations with the drivers, meaning that it looks like Microsoft is planning to release a hardware device afterall.
ZuneBoards seems to think these unnamed devices have something to do with Project Pink, specifically the Premium Mobile eXperiences division (PMX) and two Danger-designed devices, Pure and Turtle--a story first broke by Microsoft Watch's Mary Jo Foley. Refrences in a Zune library function pointing to a type of device called PmxPure and PmxTurtle seem to support this theory as well. Right now Microsoft is remaining fairly tight-lipped about their phone plans. Hopefully we'll see the strategy begin to coalesce around next month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.