A few days ago, the Internet rumor mill generated reports that Amazon was planning to enter the already crowded smartphone business. Now it appears one of the highest ranking executives at Microsoft's Windows Phone division has jumped ship to work for Amazon.
The LinkedIn page for Robert Williams, who previously worked for Microsoft as a Senior Director in the Windows Phone division, confirms that he now works for Amazon. His actual job title is "Director App Store". Amazon has its own App Store for its Kindle Fire tablet and also offers an Android app store that's outside of the official Google Play storefront.
A few months ago, another major Windows Phone executive, Brandon Watson, also left the company for a job at Amazon. Both of these departures may just be a coincidence, but it certainly does seem like Amazon's act of hiring two major team members on Microsoft's mobile phone could lead to the company developing its own smartphone.
Of course, Amazon entered the technology hardware business with its successful Kindle eReader business a few years ago. In 2011 it launched the Kindle Fire tablet, based on Android. The company is expected to launch a new version of the Kindle Fire before the end of 2012.