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New role for ex-Windows Phone exec hints at Amazon phone

Much has been made in the last few days about a possible "Facebook phone," but Amazon might be the one that's actually prepping a new smartphone.

Former Windows Phone executive Charlie Kindel has been hired by Amazon to work on "something secret," according to his LinkedIn profile. His resume, which lists him as starting at Amazon in April 2013, says he is "building a new team going after a totally new area for Amazon."

Kindel is currently "hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers," he said.

With the discovery coming yesterday on April 1, a few people questioned whether the update was simply an April Fools' Day joke. But Kindel assured the sceptics on Twitter that it's "for real."

Kindel departed Microsoft in August 2011 after working at Redmond for 21 years to pursue a new project in the Seattle area. He was instrumental in evangelising the Windows Phone platform, but in a blog post several months later, Kindel said Windows Phone was failing because Microsoft alienated phone makers and wireless carriers, two groups that Google had done a good job courting with its Android OS.

Kindel did have some strong words for Android in January 2012, though. He wrote in another blog post that Google had lost control of Android thanks to fragmentation, though he argued that it did not spell disaster for the popular mobile OS.

So, given Kindel's long history with mobile operating systems, and rumours about Amazon prepping its own smartphone, it would seem that an Amazon-branded phone is on the horizon. There were reports that the Amazon phone would make its debut at last Autumn's Kindle Fire HD launch, but Jeff Bezos made no mention of mobile.