Rumors of Amazon's Kindle smartphone just got a little juicier. CNET reports that Charlie Kindel, who held several positions at Microsoft during his 21-year tenure before leaving in 2011 to build a new company, is now working at Amazon as a director of a "secret project". His last position at Microsoft was serving as general manager of the Windows Phone app platform and developer experience.
What Kindel is doing for Amazon is unknown at this point although he claims it's "something wonderful". Naturally speculation points to the rumored Kindle smartphone which is slated to arrive in the second half of 2013. Amazon is supposedly looking to sell the devices on the cheap so it can saturate the smartphone market using a forked version of Android. Kindel's experience could help make that happen.
After updating his LinkedIn profile with news of his current role (opens in new tab), Kindel took to his blog on April 1 to write a press release that's part truth, part April Fools. He calls the unannounced device "Amazon Kindle Charlie" which will supposedly be the company's entry into the home server market.
"I get to build a new team in going after a totally new area for Amazon," he quotes himself saying, mirroring a similar statement he made on LinkedIn. "I’m particularly excited about all hiring I need to do for cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers."
In the blog, Kindel describes himself as someone who "successfully built several defunct or soon to be defunct products while at Microsoft and in two startups." He then says that Amazon "presented me with an opportunity to build a bold and audacious new business that I simply couldn’t pass up."
Later he told CNET in an email that "my blog actually covers it all, except for the 'home server' part."
Has Kindel joined the Kindle team? It seems likely at this point, possibly focusing on the Kindle platform on a whole spanning tablets and smartphones. He also confirmed his new position by announcing that he's stepping down as CEO of BizLogr, Inc., a startup company he founded.
In addition to working on Windows Phone, Kindel's 21-year experience with Microsoft also includes Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center. He even served as technical advisor to the head of Microsoft’s Server & Tools Business.