You are the largest software company in the world. You have built a device that nobody is buying. You feel the next big thing will be in the smartphone market (hello!? anybody home?). What do you do?
You take that device and you make it a smartphone, of course!
Ok, the news about Microsoft taking the Zune and making it a smartphone are too funny to be true.
However, I said it before and I repeat it. I believe Microsoft needs a smartphone to compete with the rest of the world. The dream of replicating the PC world and have everyone in the world use Windows Mobile is gone. It did not happen. The opposite is happening.
In mobile, it is all about user experience. If you control the hardware and the operating system, you have a chance to build a great experience. If you don't, it is tough. See all the bad HW implementation of Windows Mobile. Or the G1 story (good OS, bad HW).
The good stories are all coming from the combo OS+HW: Apple with the iPhone, RIM with its BlackBerries and so on.
Therefore, I am in favor of a Microsoft-branded smartphone (although I do not believe they will have one ready for MWC in Barcelona, no way).
But please, do not call it Zune...