Posted by: Olga Kharif on December 10, 2008
What does Microsoft plan to do with Zune next? There’s a good chance that the Redmond giant may enable Web-calling functionality.
An October job ad from Microsoft advertises for a user experience designer with “experience with human interface and navigation models requiring engineering prototypes of dpads, switches, accelerometers, touch screen input variables” and “sensibility for mobile communications and entertainment applications.” Does this mean Microsoft is building a phone? Not necessarily. (In fact, Microsoft vehemently denies, denies, denies any phone-doing.) Microsoft may simply be designing Web-calling capabilities into the Zune, which can connect to the Web via Wi-Fi networks, says Rick Doherty, director of consulting firm Envisioneering Group.
A Web-calling app for Zune makes a lot of sense: Zune can be used for gaming. So this capability would allow players to talk to each other while playing shoot-‘em-ups or car racing games. Ok, some players may also call mom.