Microsoft to stay out of phone hardware

No more Kin-like disasters on the horizon
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Microsoft told analysts that the company has no plans to re-enter the mobile phone hardware arena following the failed Microsoft Kin.

Having earlier released the next generation of the software giant's mobile phone operating system reboot, Windows Phone 7, there had been mounting speculation that the company would implement a reference design similar to the Google Nexus One.

However Microsoft mobile CFO Tivanka Ellawala responding to a direct question from analysts on Thursday scotched the rumours: "“We are in the software business and that is where our business will be focused,” he said.

Ellawala underlined the company's Windows Phone 7 strategy of setting tight hardware specifications for handsets permitted to run the new operating system. "“So there is more predictability in what it takes to make the hardware work with the software,” Ellawala said.

The tight specifications have raised concerns that the platform is less attractive to handset manufacturers who will be much more constrained on unique features for their handsets, versus the Android eco system which allows heavy customisation including the front end user experience which Microsoft also wants greater control over in Windows Phone 7.

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