Despite the swirling rumors, it looks like Microsoft isn't planning on taking their eye off the Windows Mobile ball anytime soon. When recently asked about the "Zune Phone," Steve Ballmer replied:

"It's not a concept you'll ever get from us. We're in the Windows Mobile business. We can put Zune into Windows Mobile, we can put Xbox into Windows Mobile. We can pour everything in.

So the Big M is much more likely to beef up Windows Mobile with some Zune-like features than try to cram phone-features into the Zune. Good move, guys. As the CEO of RIM said at CTIA this year, email is pretty much the baseline for smartphones these days. So it makes a lot more sense to take the simpler device and integrate it into the one that already does email (not to mention everything else) than the other way around.

Plus, I knew I was right to pooh-pooh those Zune Phone rumors as just iPhone ripple-effect. Now, giving me the Zune-interface and music handling (and sharing!) on a PPC-Device, that would be hot.

Read: Zune phone? Ballmer says focus is Windows Mobile