Give me a frickin break! There’s no way Microsoft will build a ZunePhone. With a nice chunk of the handheld and cell phone operating system market in hand, they have no need for it. Gates also seemingly nailed the coffin shut on a ZunePhone in his recent “Gates slams Apple” interview.
What I think they will be releasing in the future includes:
The ‘180’ – A PSP style handheld gaming device with built in wireless and the ability to connect to XBox Live directly. The ‘180’ will do multiplayer between devices, play video and music, will share content like the Zune, and will also hook into Marketplace’s music and video offerings somehow. I haven’t figured out how they will converge the two services – XBL and Marketplace though. So far it’s all on the backend with Points, but I sense some tighter integration down the road, or at least they’ll both offer the same content. The ‘180’ will also come out with a killer line up of titles, a number of which will be handheld versions of some of the more popular 360 titles like Gears Of War. I’d also hope it’ll surf the web, and have built-in media center extender support, but maybe that’s pushing it.
A 2G Zune – With better ID, video sharing, and more lax DRM restrictions on sharing in general. I’d also hope the rumors are true and we’ll see direct sync via wireless to your computer and other devices eliminating the need for USB connections. (How annoyed are you with all these USB cables that come with everything? I know I am.)
A Flash based Zune – Pretty much a done deal since they’ve publicly mentioned it, but the big question here is, will it have wireless?
New 360 accessories – including a 802.11n wireless adapter, and a new hard drive for storing all that wonderful Hi-Def content. I’m also betting on some sort of motion capture controller al la the Wii.
More content deals – with Microsoft pushing close to 15 million 360’s out there, and the release of Zune, I’d expect the amount of content available for both devices, especially HD movies on XBL, to increase substantially.