The Lack of Pedigree
We all know Windows Mobile is mess, but the picture doesn't get any rosier elsewhere. With the Zune HD Microsoft finally made a worthy rival to the iPod touch, but has chosen not to ship it outside the United States meaning the global association with the Zune brand remains one of failure.
More problematic though is KIN. Microsoft's range of "social mobiles" lasted just 2 ½ months on US network Verizon before being pulled. It sold well under 10,000 units - a staggering failure for a project which cost $240m and began 2 ½ years ago with the purchase of SideKick software maker Danger. Worse still the KIN was slow (the dreaded simulated UI was used in advertising - see below), had an incomplete feature set at launch and was based on a Windows Phone 7 core.
Microsoft's response: "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". This statement came out on 1 July. Yes, just 27 days ago Microsoft made the decision to focus on Windows Phone 7. Just 27 days ago it realised it might be a good idea to have a single mobile phone platform. Had those 2 ½ years and $240m gone towards Windows Phone 7 I suspect the picture would have looked considerably rosier.