Microsoft fans flames with non-response to iPhone-alike rumor

There’s a reason most companies have a policy against responding to rumors and speculation. When a company responds to a rumor with PR-speak it simply spawns more speculation. Of course sometimes that’s exactly what a company wants to do — fan the flames, keep the hype going, etc. If we were betting men (and a woman), we’d say this just so happens to be one of those times. Yesterday the Journal ran a rumor that Microsoft and Verizon were in the kitchen cooking up a handset to combat the iPhone. In a nutshell, Microsoft was said to be tweaking its OS with a multimedia focus, assisting with the design and that a third party would be building the handset. Microsoft’s official response: “Microsoft is not going into the phone hardware business.” Right then. While the rumor does suggest Microsoft would be assisting with the design of the handset, it puts Microsoft on the software side of the project for the most part. This hardly suggests Redmond is getting into the “phone hardware business”. So there you have it folks — Microsoft might be working with Verizon and using its Danger resources to develop a handset and modified OS that attack the iPhone on all fronts, but its not getting into the phone hardware business. Microsoft’s full response:

Microsoft is not going into the phone hardware business. Microsoft is not building a Zune-specific phone. We’re deepening our relationships with our hardware partners in order to create even better performing phones that are competitively priced, have the features people want, that are easy-to-use and just downright lust-worthy. The upcoming availability of Windows Mobile 6.5 software will enable our OEM partners to build even more compelling devices in a wide-range of form factors for customers around the world.

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