Okay, so the supposedly interesting Tweets that hinted at an upcoming Zune event in June turned out to be part prank, part mistake on Microsoft's part. But at the same time, a new source has leaked very specific data on Microsoft's Project Pink. What's going on?
The new Project Pink information comes from the formidable Mary-Jo Foley at ZDNet, springing from a "trustworthy" source, and it's detailed enough to make one feel confident in its validity. Specifically, Foley has information on the Windows Mobile 7 Chassis 1, which is the hardware that will support codename Pink phones. The device is have to have a 3.5-inch or larger screen, multitouch capabilities, ARM V6+ CPUs, OpenGL ES2.0 graphics capability, over 256MB of RAM, over 1GB of storage, and a camera larger than 3 megapixels. There's also got to be GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a digital compass and accelerometer.
The general specification matches the form that most high-end smartphones now take, but its the detail that's intriguing. The OpenGL specification almost hints at strong game-playing capability, and multitouch is clearly a response to the iPhone--which, if you think about it, is almost the baseline these new specs are designed to supercede.
But, as Engadget notes, Steve Ballmer and other sources have suggested Pink is the codename for Zune software being expanded onto other platforms. So is Project Pink actually the confirmation that Windows Mobile 7 and Zune are going to be blended together in future MS smartphones? It would certainly make for a powerful entertainment device, bringing WinMo's gaming, email and app support into close contact with Zune's personal media player interface--far surpassing Windows Media, which MS has previously used to manage some of its entertainment options. It'd be no match for the iPhone UI, for sure, since it's hard to imagine a seamless blend of these two packages, but it'd be a good move for Microsoft...assuming it can shed the slightly dull PR Zune carries with it.
All this is speculation--but much more than Twitter rumors, it's on a solid, believable basis. And Microsoft's current publicity strategy is taking direct aim at Apple's success, so it's fairly logical to assume the company's just not going to let Apple run away with the smartphone market in its entirety.