This is pretty interesting. In an interview with CNET, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer reveals that Zune software is indeed coming to Windows Mobile when asked about the Windows Phone/Zune HD interplay. If you fast forward to about 8:40 (the embedded player above is a countdown player), you’ll hear him say:
What is Zune HD? Zune HD is a couple things. Number one, Zune HD is a music player with a nice music service. By the way, the same software will be available on Windows Phones and Windows PCs. You have that today on the PC, you’ll see that in our phone environment as well.
So what could this mean? We’re thinking it means that in a future version of Windows Mobile, we’ll see a Zune application that will essentially launch the Zune HD environment for media playback, thus replacing the mobile version of Windows Media Player. Those wanting a dedicated media device with no phone can spring for a Zune HD (or equivalent), but those wanting a more all-in-one device can grab a next-generation Windows Phone. This model is similar to that of the iPod Touch and iPhone.
Since the Zune HD runs on a pretty powerful platform (NVIDIA Tegra), it’s likely that Ballmer is speaking to the future when Windows Phones run on more robust chipsets. This jives well with the Windows Mobile 7 chassis requirements.