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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."

Bummer.