Microsoft CEO: KIN took away resources from Windows Phone 7

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talks about Windows Phone 7
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talks about Windows Phone 7

In a long-ranging interview with the Seattle Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer discussed the company’s mobile strategy with the upcoming Windows Phone 7.

The Microsoft CEO said that the company just wants to make sure that customers are excited to get Windows Phone 7 devices when these launch in a few weeks. It will worry about the mobile search and advertising possibilities in the long run, but it wants to make sure the devices are as attractive as possible out of the gates.

Ballmer also admitted that the ill-fated KIN lineup may have taken away focus from Windows Phone 7. As you may recall, the KIN phones were super feature phones with strong social networking integration. Unfortunately, these devices were quite limited, came with an expensive monthly data plan and failed to sell many units. The project was scrapped a few short weeks after the KIN phones were launched.

The No. 1 message from Kin is a message of focus. You only get so many things you can really talk about, communicate, work on with the consumer. You’ve got to be bold, you’ve got to look forward and you’ve got to stay focused. Kin was neither — with 20-20 hindsight — bold enough relative to where the market’s going, and it just defocused activity from Windows Phone.

You have to agree with that assessment but one would have hoped that Ballmer could have realized this before the KIN debacle. Still, I’m cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Windows Phone 7.

I think the Metro UI is actually pretty innovative because it’s a break from the same, tired icons-in-a-grid interface we’re seeing. The Xbox Live integration should be pretty cool, too.

The hardware that has leaked out looks pretty solid, as Windows Phone 7 has some high-end hardware requirements. While it’s kind of a shame that these won’t hit Verizon or Sprint until 2011, I think there will be a lot of happy Microsoft mobile users by the end of the year.

[Via Seattle Times]

  • techieg

    That was obvious. As soon as I read about Kin1 and Kin2 I said Oh my God!. These guys are really not doing things right, and that it did not really make any sense and the devices won’t really go anywhere. I though it would be better to dedicate its resources to WP7, perhaps if they did CDMA support would be available on WP7 as well as copy/cut & paste. But no biggie those will come in updates. WP7 is here to take the mobile space, all others are peeing in their pants right about now!

  • Marin Perez

    Kin had some decent ideas but seemed about 2 years behind to be truly innovative. I don’t think Apple and Google are soiling themselves over WP7 but they should be a little nervous.

  • Hg

    Microsoft’s been releasing some great products in the past 2 years. This one should be interesting, this time stability and usability looks positive. Hope WP7 provides true and stable multitasking in the future.

  • Jeff F

    Let’s blame the Kin for taking resources and features away from Windows Phone 7.

    It was the Kin that caused Windows Phone 7 not to have Copy & Paste.
    It was the Kin that stole away Windows Phone 7’s app multitasking.
    It was the Kin that made Windows Phone 7 unable to tether its connection to a laptop.

    Let’s blame the Kin for ruining everything for its next-of-Kin… Windows Phone 7.

    It’s funny that virtually every tech magazine refers to the Kin phones as a “debacle”. “The Kin debacle”.

  • I *was* excited about WP7, didn’t really care about the lack of cut and paste (I think I’ve used it twice since iOS got it), but the lack of tethering, multitasking, and external memory have pushed me back into the Android camp.

  • greg newman

    Microsoft is not against flash being on Windows phone 7 and mutitasking and cut and paste will probably be added to it within a year because Microsoft says they will upgrade this phone’s features. I hear a lot of people saying this phone will fail but I donot believe them because there are a lot of people who are not all shuck up
    about the lack of things and just want a reliable phone to make telephone call and check email, play a game or two and serf the web. The windows phone 7 will do all theses things very well. what Microsoft must do is have Savvy advertisement people let People know that their windows phone 7 exists so People wiil remember it so that when they go to buy a cell phone they will check it out. Let me tell you I went to some cell phone stores looking to
    buy a good cell phone and got lost in a sea of so many different makes and models and cell phone carriers and plans that felt a little lost and confused and some of the slales people need better training. I l;ike to see the whole internet so my phone has to show flash video, Silverlight , HTML 5 and ect I’ll pick up a good one soon.

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