It's long been rumored that Microsoft is trying to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to hardware on which Windows Mobile runs. In particular was the fabled "reference chassis," from which manufacturers would base future Windows phones. And that's apparently been confirmed. Speaking to ITPro, Microsoft business marketing manager James McCarthy said:

“In the future, we are looking to deepen our development work with a handful of key OEMs at the hardware design phase, with much more carefully defined hardware specifications to match software requirements, which in turn will deliver even more powerful mobile experiences for our customers.

“This has led to this chassis’ concept that is familiar to the work Microsoft does with hardware partners in the PC industry to create high quality products.”

There's plenty more in the ITPro piece, including a number of predictions that we've been making for some time — Zune-like multimedia and the like. As for exactly what the chassis comprises, well, we've got our theories ...

Via wmpoweruser