Microsoft planning its mobile device?

Microsoft mobile deviceMicrosoft has been into the mobile industry for a long time. The Windows Mobile OS is well established among several smartphone makers, but with the immense success of the Apple iPhone and the wafting rumors of a GPhone, will Microsoft be taking the plunge?

A Zune phone?

The idea may not be very far fetched, according to the comments made by Mindy Mount, CFO of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division. In this article, courtesy of PC World, Mindy commented that:'s not "unreasonable" to think that Microsoft will integrate photo, music, and touchscreen features into a Windows Mobile product in the future...

Microsoft's portable music player was never as successful as the iPod. Hence, bundling the player into a custom smartphone running on the Windows OS is a distinct possibility. Since the demand for smartphones is on the rise, Microsoft may be making the foray sooner than expected.

Microsoft's mobile maneuvers

And perhaps it was this interest in the mobile domain that saw Microsoft mulling over buying Research in Motion, BlackBerry's manufacturer (Ars Technica). Perhaps also, Microsoft would have been more eager in the mobile hardware space had it not been for the hard experience at profiting from the XBox series.

Battling Google in mobile space

And that takes us to the real buzz in the tech community. With rumors of a Google phone on the anvil, there seems to be more to mobiles from Google than meets the eye. A recent patent application filed by Google details on a mode of payment via SMS (Ars Technica). And let's not forget the definite signs that were in the air when it acquired Android and other niche mobile software makers a few years back.

If Google could provide a platform that entices developers to unleash their creativity as much as they have done on the Web, Microsoft would have a lot to worry about. GPhone seems like Google's attempt to create an all inclusive "ecosystem" that was never possible on the desktops with proprietary software. The battlegrounds are shifting to the mobile space. What do you think Microsoft has up its sleeve?