No, there won't be a Zune Phone, as we've said before and will surely have to say again. But “J Allard comments on how the Zune's features and interfaces will eventually make their way into Windows Mobile, thereby vindicating our own speculation” just doesn't seem like a very pithy headline.
Over at the New York Times Bits Blog, Saul Hansell got a chance to corner J Allard, who is in charge of Zunes these days and maybe kinda sorta has something to do with Windows Mobile. Hansell put up some of Allard's comments (really just the highlights), and they're interesting. One - the iPhone is a good phone but a mediocre iPod - since you have to look at the thing to interact with it. Allard also joins us in giving Mobile Safari its due.
More interesting to us, though, is the stuff on Windows Mobile. 1st: the iPhone is good for Windows Mobile because it's made some space for innovation by pushing carriers out of the way. 2nd: Allard on the Zune's interface with regards to Windows Mobile:
The phone will be one part entertainment…. What you will see from us is more of these signature experiences. When you see the Zune, you’ll say say, I want my music experience on the phone to be like that. Hey, I want my telecommunication experience on the phone to be more like that.
Read: New York Times Blog
Sound familiar? It should, because we totally told you so:
The Zune isn't doing all that well in the market of MP3 players (and that's not too surprising), but what if Microsoft doesn't care? What if they're using the Zune to build up their “interface chops” and using what few buyers they've gained as secret beta testers? We know that we won't see a “Zune Phone”, but we also know that the Zune and Windows Mobile share the CE Platform underpinnings.