J Allard, VP of Microsoft's entertainment and devices devision and one of the gurus behind the Xbox and the Zune, has some crazy plans that he hopes will put Microsoft on top of entertainment — and it has nothing to do with discontinuing the brown Zune. In his ramblings to Saul Hansell of the New York Times Bits blog, he revealed he's looking to create an entertainment-distribution service that will do all the heavy lifting for content providers. Microsoft's online gaming service and the Zune's Internet interface are built on the same platform. The implication?
When it ties that same back-end service into cell phones — maybe those running Windows Mobile? — it would be capable of serving media to basically any device. With this distribution network, content providers would simply hand over Microsoft the source material, the way they send film reels to theaters, and Allard's division would be responsible for distributing it. The one problem with this idea? Hollywood trusts Microsoft about as far as it can throw it.