Has the Zune Phone really been confirmed? Well, as the title of this article says, not yet. But there are major hints that Microsoft has something up its sleeve. Whether it’s a Zune Phone or something completely different, that’s yet to be determined. Here’s what we know:
On Monday, Microsoft submitted a filing with the FCC which has lead to rumors, and more rumors about what Microsoft has brewing in Redmond. Ever since the iPhone was unveiled, there have been countless jokes that Microsoft would turn their Zune into a phone “copying” off of Apple.
In January not long after CES where the iPhone was unveiled, we asked the question, How will Microsoft Compete with the iPhone? Our question just might be answered, well, maybe.
According to Market Watch, the filing describes “a wireless device that utilizes OFDM, a technology that can be used to route digital TV and voice calls among devices.” Microsoft says the intended use of the device is “Consumer Broadband Access and Networking. A VOIP enabled Zune would be much, much different than the iPhone, steering clear of cellular providers.
Crunch Gear expanded on what Market Watch had to say, saying:
If this all fits together, it looks like MS is working on a mobile WiMax-enabled Zune Phone, which would have download speeds of up to 2Mbps, fast enough for the Xbox-to-Zune streaming weâ€™ve heard about, and fast enough for just about anything else the Zune Phone might be used for.
Hmm… fast enough for Xbox-to-Zune streaming. Interesting…
They continue saying that they have an “inside” source that says an iPhone competitor isn’t anything new. It’s been in the works for a while, and that “the idea of branding it as part of the Zune ecosystem, from the brown color through the interface, came as a recent decision as a response to Appleâ€™s iPhone. ”
So while all of this was settling with me, I came across this article which says that the filing doesn’t mention the Zune, and that a Microsoft rep says that the recent filing which everyone is buzzing about is not Zune-related at all. Instead, they point to a prototype that Microsoft, Google, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Philips are in cahoots with that would “provide consumer broadband access and networking.” The actual letter to the FCC was submitted on behalf of each of the listed companies above.
As Todd Bishop of Seattle PI says, this wireless technology could potentially be used in the Zune, or another type of “Phone” device sometime down the road, but the recent filing that led CrunchGear to expand in leaps and bounds how this filing points to a Zune Phone really had nothing to do with that.
This prototype that Microsoft, Google, and the rest are involved in has left more unanswered questions. This my friends, is where patience comes in.