I’ll say it right up front: the original source article has magically disappeared from the web and I couldn’t even see it in Google’s cache of the site. However, the idea has merit to it, so rumor-disclosure aside, here you go.
Zune Thoughts came across an interesting piece that indicates a possible revamp of the MSN Music service with a tie-in to the Zune Marketplace and access via Windows Mobile. If true, this could allow for Marketplace purchases or Zune Pass streaming to a non-Zune device; something you can already do with a Windows PC of course, but what about Windows Mobile devices? On one hand it makes sense if you think about it. I’ve read that a Windows Mobile 6.1 update could be seen early next year (I have no confirmation) and that could be a compelling feature upgrade that builds upon the hundreds of thousands of handhelds running WinMo out there. It could expand the Zune brand as a music store by leaps and bounds and attempt to counter the iTunes WiFi store.
The potential downside is that it could cannibalize sales of Zune hardware as well, but still, an interesting play if true. Again, the source story is gone, so take from this what you will. Maybe people have been focusing too much on adding phone capabilities to a new Zune that they’re missing possible Zune functions added to an old phone?