Mary-Jo Foley says there will be no Microsoft smartphone, citing an actual chat she had with company reps, crushing yesterday’s report that a Gates-branded handset was on the way.
According to Foley, Microsoft is indeed working in mobile, but its working on developing smartphone reference implementations–specifically, multiple smartphone chassis, at least one of which will be Nvidia-powered.
One of the chassis is also for the fabled Zune phone, but Microsoft won’t produce it. The company is currently challenging outside manufacturers to come up with something interesting built around the reference design.
The company is said to be focusing most of the designs around Windows Mobile 7, which will supposedly be released in the first half of 2010, and as Foley points out, the mobile operating system could be used as Microsoft’s showcase for “Zune Mobile: SkyBox 2.0; its SkyMarket (or SkyMart) phone-application store; a Zune video service…MP3 players and Xbox consoles.”
Let the rumors rest.