updated 01:10 am EDT, Sun September 12, 2010
Microsoft wants hardware engineer for Zune HD 2
A Microsoft job listing discovered today suggests that the company may be committing to the design of a Zune HD sequel. The Senior Mechanical Engineer is ostensibly under the phone division but would be working with the Portable Entertainment Group to build "cutting edge mobile devices." Few clues exist as to the nature of the hardware, but the team is the same that made the original Zune HD.
The company has been silent on the prospect of a Zune hardware refresh this year and is rumored to be developing one last model of the dedicated MP3 player before it merges completely into Windows Phone and other platforms. It may use some or all of Windows Phone 7's elements and would be closer to an iPod touch as a general-purpose device. If it uses a complete form of WP7, it may address a lack of app support that has been a common criticism of the Zune HD and put it closer on par.
Other possible candidates include a Microsoft-influenced smartphone design or even a portable Xbox, though neither is considered likely. The company has publicly remained wedded to its concept of licensing its mobile OS to others rather than building its own, and no leaks have emerged of a gaming system. [via WMPowerUser]