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Ballmer: Kin Defocused Activity From WP7

In a recent interview with The Seattle Times, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer was asked what he learned from Microsoft's recent failure with the Kin "social" phone. Both Kin phones were launched on Verizon Wireless in April 2010 and was immediately discontinued six weeks later due to incredibly poor sales. Naturally Microsoft doesn't want to echo that kind of failure with Windows Phone 7.

"The number one message from Kin is a message of focus," he said. "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."

Ballmer was also asked about a timeframe when consumers would see Windows 7 on a slate device (tablet) like Apple's iPad. "When it's ready," he answered. "A Windows 7 slate shipped today. The question is when are we going to see additional form factors. We'll see some at Christmas, we'll see some after Christmas, and all through the next year."

Ballmer also dodged the word "layoffs," indicating that Microsoft juggles its employees around, shifting them to other jobs when a project "doesn't quite work." He also refused give the actual listing of his Facebook page, keeping his friendship all to himself.

"I do [have a Facebook page], but I don't want to tell you which one it is because I don't want to get those friend requests," he admitted. "There's about 11 of them (Steve Ballmer pages). Not as many as there are Bill Gates, but there are a few Steve Ballmers."


  • Ragnar-Kon
    Well at least he knows when a product screwed up... unlike someone we know... who last name may or may not start with a J...
    The Kin is the biggest flop I have ever seen from a top tech company. I have a friend who is an assistant manager of a Verizon store, and he told his team to not even bother unpacking the Kin after he played around with the pre-release phone he recieved.

    Hopefully the WP7 phone will be better. But by the time it actually comes out I probably will be so far into Droid that I won't even care anymore. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say Microsoft is too little to late to be a top 3 player in the smart phone market. But hey, maybe I'll be wrong.
  • back_by_demand
    Biggest tech flop ever:

    Apple Newton
  • Who wants to be his friend?
  • guardianangel42
    I am interest to see what WP7 is going to be like. Right now I can't find a phone on ATT that I want because they are all either crap with major bugs or the iPhone, which is both above my price range and Apple, which means iTunes. I hate iTunes and it is the reason I don't own an iPod.
  • darkwingz24
    If they had not wasted time developing the Kin and focused on making a Zune Phone I would have been interested. Which is what WP7 is I guess, just kinda late to the party.
  • eddieroolz
    I'm just glad this CEO is able to admit mistakes. Whereas another CEO *ahem* is not.
  • igot1forya
    back_by_demandBiggest tech flop ever:Apple NewtonMan I remember when that thing came out... I wanted one! I never realized back then that Apple would not change... they are still over-priced and over-hyped. Thank you Apple for the first part... I'm glad you scared me off! LOL