Microsoft: "We want mass and scale" in mobile

Speaking at the Citigroup technology conference last week, Microsoft's entertainment and device division corporate vice president and chief financial officer Mindy Mount outlined the future of the software giant's Windows Mobile platform as well as its Zune portable media player, including a possible Zune-branded handset. According to Mount, mobile is the business that best plays to Microsoft core strengths like scale, software and services. "We really want mass and scale," Mount said, according to a ZDNet report. "If you have connections to people that will drive the opportunity to future revenue."

On the subject of the Zune, Mount said "We all feel that last year was a good, solid effort for first year. I'd give it a B minus. Some things were really great." The Zune positives include "some elements of hardware" and its video screen, Mount said--the negatives include its weight (a "little heavier" than anticipated) and the failings of the Zune video service. "In the next few years you'll see the continual evolution of that product," she said. "We don't have anything to announce right now for the holiday season." Mount added that while Microsoft has no current plans to enter the handset space, a Zune branded phone is a possibility, especially given that its hardware, software and services are integrated. "Clearly we do identify mobile being more integrated with photos and music," Mount said. "It's a natural thing to have in our product roadmap."

For more on Microsoft's mobile future:
- read this ZDNet article