In a giant memo to Microsoft employees laying out strategy and changes for the next fiscal year, Steve Ballmer spends a paragraph comparing their way of doing things (choice) versus Apple (end-to-end). Unexceptional, except he says that
“We’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises. We’ll do the same with phones–providing choice as we work to create great end-to-end experiences.”
That sounds a lot like making use of Danger, who specialises in consumer OSes. Like say, a Zune phone designed by Danger–a Zune phone, after all, would be such an end-an-end to experience, and fill in Microsoft’s obvious gap in the consumer smartphone niche, which even BlackBerry is getting into. JKontheRun has unspecified info that Zune phone meetings are kicking up, to boot.