Microsoft's long-rumored and ever-denied "Pink" phone project is surfacing again. Speaking to clients today, Jefferies & Company analyst Katherine Egbert said that Redmond is preparing to launch a Windows Mobile 7-based handset. Egbert claims that the software giant will introduce a "Zune-like phone" within the next two months -- possibly at February's Mobile World Congress or CTIA in March.

It's said that the device is probably the result of an OEM partnership like the one between Google and HTC, who manufacturers the Nexus One. Egbert believes the Microsoft-branded smartphone will feature a five-megapixel camera, some kind of music subscription model, and will support 720p HD video. Unfortunately, there is no insight on how much the phone will cost, or which carriers might offer it.

The analyst does note, however, that the device would effectively be the "third screen" (along with Windows and the Xbox) and final component in Microsoft's "3 screens and a cloud" strategy. If all of this is true, Microsoft deserves a round of applause for keeping the device under wraps.