Seemingly giving up on the bigger picture as far as hardware goes, Microsoft is considering offering its Zune software and services to other platforms, ZDNet reports.

The whisper is a credible one - it comes direct from Jose Pinero, director of communications for Microsoft's TV, video and music business. "We are evaluating a lot of options in terms of platforms", Pinero confirmed to ZDNet.

As well as devices from smaller players, this possible Zune offering is reported to include Apple's iPods, in a strategy said to be "under active consideration".

The logic goes that die-hard PC users may prefer using the Zune software on their Windows PCs, or the subscription-based model might appeal to those currently buying their songs piece-meal.

Pinero also confirmed that Microsoft is looking to bring the Zune music and video service to Windows Mobile phones. "Our next step is mobile phones, but we haven't talked about a timeline for when that will happen", Pinero said.