Technologist Long Zheng's watchful eye caught a clue that points to the likely existence of an upcoming Zune phone. A Zune software update includes a USB device driver package that references hardware IDs for an as of yet unknown Microsoft Zune product.
Microsoft's Windows Mobile business model has been reliant on third parties, but that model hasn't given the platform much wind in its sails as evidenced by the OS's sinking market share.
Last year, it was reported that Microsoft was giving devices makers reference designs to use to build their own next generation Windows Mobile devices. It is also working on Zune-branded services, code-named "Pink," "Skybox," and "SkyMart," to standardize the user experience across devices. The company realizes that people are accessing information and services from a growing number of devices.