Well, that settles that. Not that we really expected Microsoft to branch out and try the whole "let's make a phone!" thing again -- particularly after the Kin debacle ended the way it did -- but the company's own Tivanka Ellawala just said as much at an investor conference in San Francisco. For those unaware, Mr. Ellawala is the company's CFO for the Mobile Communications Business, and we have all ideas he's still reeling from lost investments related to Kin. Answering a question about rumors surrounding a future Microsoft-built phone, he stated: "We are in the software business and that is where our business will be focused." He went on to stress the importance and magnitude of Windows Phone 7, which he says will spearhead demand for data services and will be "strong on the gaming side." Honestly, we aren't too bummed out -- we'd rather the engineers in Redmond stick to making the best mobile OS they can, while the dudes and dudettes at HTC, Samsung and LG keep on cranking out the drool-worthy hardware. But mostly we're just terrified of the Kin 2.

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Microsoft's Tivanka Ellawala: no plans to develop more phone hardware