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Microsoft plans for Xphone

The above image - the "Xune" - is a years-old fantasy of A.J. Kandy's. It's an Xbox 360-inspired version of Microsoft's mp3 player, the Zune, which has been in competition with the far-more-dominant iPod for years now.

Apple's iPod was the product to beat for years, but now the iPhone is more ubiquitous. Consumers have decided that they want a phone, camera, and mp3 player all in one. What can we say - fewer expensive items make for lighter pockets and purses.

So, Microsoft has a phone idea in the works, and the concept will sound familiar to Kandy. The "Xphone" will let gamers play Xbox Live games on their phone - similar to those iPhone apps that the kids are always talking about. No word yet about mp3 capabilities or a camera, but we're assuming those will be incorporated if Microsoft wants this phone to succeed at all. (The position of program manager for this project is still open, by the way.)

Kandy's idea got laughed off back in '06, so we're having trouble understanding why Microsoft is thinking about Xbox gadgets again. This reminds us of the 2006-era rumors of an Xbox handheld, not to mention the failure of the N-Gage and other similar products that sat on Best Buy's shelves, ignored and unsold.

So, we're wondering: Is there a market for this? If Microsoft actually makes this phone, will you buy one?

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