Those somewhat half-hearted rumours of a "Zune" phone from Microsoft have taken an interesting turn. Kind of like the rumours of the gPhone becoming a software, rather than hardware based solution, it seems the zPhone could be the same.

It's possible that the Zune-phone handset already exists and you may actually own it without even realising. No we haven't been on the loopy juice - we're referring to Windows Mobile smartphones.

The twist is, that Microsoft is reported to be working on a "revamp of the MSN Music service with a tie-in to the Zune Marketplace".

This revamp would include access to the Marketplace (presumably only in the States) via Windows Mobile that would let consumers make Marketplace purchases and/or share Zune Pass songs with a non-Zune device.

So, for the consumer, nothing more than a software update would be required to turn your WM handset into a sort-of Zune. Unconfirmed and rumour at this stage, but we'll keep you informed...