It's pretty well known that Microsoft has no plans of making a Zune phone. And Silicon Valley Insider recently ran a piece [via] reiterating that Redmond has no intentions of manufacturing its own hardware, a la Apple with the iPhone and RIM with the BlackBerry.

As SVI notes, and we agree, this still isn't that much of a surprise. Microsoft appears quite content to just be an operating system supplier working hand-in-hand with the manufacturers. And it's not like the Microsoft brand is losing ground.

Despite having its own gadget design teams -- which make the Zune and Xbox -- Microsoft has "no plans to build our own phone," says Scott Rockfeld, group product manager for Windows Mobile. "Right now we're happy to share the limelight," he adds.

And let's go one further: In our post last week about the semi-official/rumored/not-that-surprising delay of Windows Mobile 7, MSFT raved about the improvements customizations that third parties are making to Windows Mobile, such as HTC's TouchFlo 3D.

With the sexy devices HTC has been cranking out like pancakes, and even the new phones from Palm, why muddy the waters? And remember that the acquisition of Sidekick-maker Danger is less about the platform and more about services. Let HTC do what it does best - make great phones. Let Microsoft worry about making an OS we can all be proud to use.

And remember what the almighty Steve Jobs himself told The New York Times early this year.

"Having created a phone, it's a lot harder than it looks."