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Microsoft Kills Its Kin

Gordon Kelly


Microsoft Kills Its Kin

Clearly nobody did 'kin care about Microsoft's 'social mobiles'...

Just 2 ½ months on from the fairly uninspiring launch of the KIN Range, Balmer's boys have ruthlessly wielded the axe and cut them down. In a statement it said:

"We have made the decision to focus on our Windows Phone 7 launch and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones."

This is vague - even for a corporate statement, but in short it says: KIN turned out to be a terrible idea, we're going to try and find something from it that might be useful in Windows Phone 7 and for those who did buy KIN phones - oops - we're now just clearing stock and delivering tech support, so don't count on much in the way of previously promised updates.

All of which would be fine if Microsoft hadn't spent a small fortune buying SideKick software maker Danger and then taken a year developing 'Project Pink' only to unveil a pair of tween phones that sat uncomfortably between a Zune and Windows Phone 7, had locked down functionality and TCOs (total cost of ownership) as high as a regular smartphone. Da kidz these days have BlackBerrys and iPhones Microsoft, didn't you know?

I guess based on its awful Abercrombie & Fitch-style ads (below) with simulated UI shots (watch for the notice at the end) the answer is no. All in all, a surprisingly brutal exit, but not one many will mourn.

Link: Microsoft Kin Website (See it while you still can)


July 1, 2010, 11:09 am

I thought it was a good idea ruined by an utterly terrible pricing strategy.

Shortly afterwards Bach and Allard 'left'. You can draw your own conclusions.


July 1, 2010, 1:16 pm

I thought it was a superb idea...

... for 2007!


July 1, 2010, 3:30 pm

Is this continuous rampant waste of money by MS some sort of clever tax avoidance strategy, or are they now just full of shit-for-brains middle managers who think programming is just a fancy name for offshore typing?


July 1, 2010, 5:04 pm

it's like selling overpriced bottled water to teenagers over coke...

junior apprentice anyone?


July 1, 2010, 6:05 pm

Spot on Andy. It must have seemed like a great idea at the time but the long delays made it redundant on release. I'm surprised MS took the bold step of ditching it so quickly. Well, to be honest i'm kinda surprised they even bothered to release it.


July 1, 2010, 8:23 pm

'Kin hopeless!


July 1, 2010, 9:21 pm

The Danger Sidekick proved that there is a market for this kind of phone (perhaps more in the US), but it needed to be dirt cheap. With the Kin's high data cost, no cash-strapped student was going to buy one of these over a proper smartphone.

I hope some the of Kin Studio makes its way to WP7 though. That particular technology looked pretty cool.


July 1, 2010, 10:05 pm

As it says on other sites the problem was as much with Verizon than MS, with them not agreeing to the original price plans because MS took too long to deliver the phones. Had they been ready 18 months earlier Kin might have worked. The project should've been shelved earlier, but I guess MS hoped Verizon would agree to the original pricing plan right up to the last minute. Once they didn't they had to run with it for a while and hope Verizon would relent, once they didn't they did the only sensible thing.

As others have said if the best bits of Kin (ie. the online Studio) are part of WP7 then at least something good will come from this fiasco.


July 2, 2010, 3:57 am

@Gordon: You need to stop summarising these stories so well on the main page, I'm starting to skip the actual content of the articles :P.


July 2, 2010, 7:44 am

@drdark - what can I say? I'm all about the SEO ;)

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