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Microsoft Eying Possible Zune Phone

5 Sep, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

On the day Apple Inc. slashed the price of its iPhone and up-graded video capabilities to the iPod, a Microsoft Corp. executive characterized the smart phone as a niche product representing less than 10% of the overall mobile market.

Speaking Sept. 5 at the Citigroup Global Technology Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., VP & CFO Mindy Mount said consumers tend to have one phone, whether it is for personal use or work.

“We do identify that having a more integrated phone, having the ability to have pictures and music on a phone, is something that consumers are going to want,” Mount said. “It is very natural to have one in our product road map even though we haven't made any announcements.”

She said it was not unreasonable for Microsoft, at some point in the future, to integrate the Zune portable music player with a phone.

“When you have an integrated software/hardware product, it does allow often for a much better, much cleaner experience,” Mount said. “You can make sure that everything works together than when you have an open-based platform.”

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