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A Zune-phone tweet, posted by a Microsoft-related account last night, has the rumor mill buzzing.  (Source: Gizmodo)

Zune fans have created this mock-up of what a Zune phone might look like.  (Source: Zune Scene Forums)
A new Twitter posting has some convinced a phone version of the Zune is on the way

As far as MP3 players go, the Zune has not been able to keep up with the pace of Apple’s iPod or even SanDisk’s Sansa players.  Still, the Zune has many loyal followers and speculation that a Zune phone might be forthcoming has excited many.  Such a phone could potentially prove a strong challenger to the Palm Pre, Apple iPhone, Google G1, and Blackberry Storm.

Thus it created quite a stir last night when a Twitter account attached to the "Office the Movie" Microsoft advertising team posted, "June 2009 will be an important month for Zune lovers."

The post was followed by another, stating, "New product launch, that's all I'm allowed to say. Hold off from buying an iPhone/Pre. :)"

While the prospect of a Zune phone, which the Tweets seem to obviously infer, seems intriguing, the Tweets themselves have come under fire.  First, some have noted that half of the messages from the account were posted from Tweetie, a Twitter client that runs on Macs. 

Secondly, the account is almost brand new and has had limited activity.  Among its previous posts about Office, was one that stated, "Office 2010 will include Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks integrated right into Word. That's just a hint of what's to come!"

While such a possibility might be news in and of itself, that assertion seems questionable as well.  Microsoft does have a partnership with Facebook, but the Office 2010 team has made no mention of social network or blog integration.  One possibility is that the post is referring to the web application form of Word that could potentially be embedded into licensed sites.

Also, others point out that the Microsoft Office team is minimally connected to the Zune efforts, and seems unlikely to have secret inside knowledge of R&D projects.  Still others are pointing out the improbability of Microsoft allowing a low level source to leak such important information.

In the end, barring an unlikely confirmation from Microsoft, the post will likely remain, like other Zune-Phone blogs around the web, an unsubstantiated rumor, albeit a bit more credible then most.  It’s something to keep an eye on, but don't put your phone upgrade on hold quite yet.





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