An executive in Microsoft's entertainment and games division Tuesday hinted that Microsoft may be developing its own Windows Mobile OS-based rival to Apple's iPhone. Speaking at Citi's annual Global Technology Conference in New York on Tuesday, Mindy Mount, corporate vice president and CFO for Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division, said it's not "unreasonable" to think that Microsoft will integrate photo, music, and touchscreen features into a Windows Mobile product in the future, though she declined to comment on the specifics of when or what that might look like.
Microsoft's idea with Windows Mobile has been to move everyday business capabilities, such as accessing e-mail, from the PC to the mobile device. However, most people "tend to have one phone for personal as well as work [use]," Mount said. "Being able to do pictures and music is something that consumers are going to want, so it's a natural thing for us to want in our product roadmap." Microsoft is rumored to be evolving its Zune multimedia player -- its rival to the iPod -- with new features out by the holiday time at the end of the year, though Mount declined to confirm this on Tuesday. But a hybrid product melding Zune, which so far has had lackluster response from consumers, with Windows Mobile features is not completely unrealistic for the future.