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Project Pink: Microsoft phone rumour

Microsoft has denied rumours of a Zune phone, but the Wall Street Journal is stirring the pot with news that the software behemoth is making a touchscreen mobile, codenamed Project Pink

Not content to be runner-up in MP3 players, rumour has it that Microsoft wants to be an also-ran in mobile phones.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the superstar of Seattle is working on a project, codenamed 'Pink' to ensure success with the ladies, in partnership with US network Verizon.

The WSJ reckons the phone will be a touchscreen multimedia phone that will extend Windows Mobile with new features and include Microsoft's version of the Apple App Store, the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Microsoft will be have input into the phone's hardware, but building the thing will be left up to a third party -- like the Zune, which is built by Toshiba.

Apparently the Pink project stems from Microsoft's acquisition of Danger Inc a year ago, the company that designed the software in the T-Mobile Sidekick, a popular phone in the US. There's no news on whether the Pink phone will get this party started.

Verizon is eager to get its hands on a phone that will compete with the iPhone, which is exclusive to the AT&T network in the US -- although recent rumours suggest it may be buddying up with Apple on a couple of new devices. 

Microsoft is keeping its cards close to its chest about the rumour, and so far it looks like a policy of deny everything. It's always put the kibosh on Zune phone rumours, which have been floating around since the beginning of time, and Pink may be a Google Android-like software environment rather than a device.

We'll keep you updated on whether any of this vapour coalesces into something more solid.