Now that Apple has finally unveiled the much-rumored iPhone, the digerati sewing circle banter is moving on to Apple's competitor -- Microsoft.

The early rumors are underway that Gates & Co. are developing a Zune phone. Microsoft confirmed last fall that a mobile phone element was part of the broader "connected entertainment" strategy of Zune from the very beginning, so this comes as little surprise.

What will be interesting are the details of exactly HOW this integration will occur. While the existing Zune device has yet to catch on in the marketplace in any significant way, it has received positive marks for its user interface and navigational controls, something that would bode well for a Zune-branded phone if it were to keep the same functionality.

Additionally, how well the phone works with both the music service (and it's "squirting" song-sharing features) as well as the installed base of Xbox 360s could solve a lot of the problems surrounding mobile entertainment solutions.

Stay tuned.