Ding dong, the Microsoft Kin is dead

Engadget is reporting that the Kin is dead, even though the device was only released a few short months ago, and is still receiving updates.

Sources close to Microsoft have told Engadget that Andy Lees, Senior Vice President of Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business, has merged the Kin into the Windows Phone 7 team. They have also cancelled the Kin's Europe launch, which was scheduled for later this year, because sales weren't as strong as expected.

Microsoft released a press statement today saying that:

"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 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."

The Kin was only known by it's codename, "Project Pink", until a few months ago when it was unveiled at a press event in April of this year. The device is based on the Windows Phone 7 framework, and was aimed at teens and young adults in their early twenties, but failed to gain traction amongst users in the US after launch - it received only mediocre reviews, and was only available on select plans which were unpopular because they were expensive.

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This is what happens when you underestimate your objective market or you don't ask to your clients about a product before develop and launch it.

Jolo said,
This is what happens when you underestimate your objective market or you don't ask to your clients about a product before develop and launch it.

What really hurt was the smartphone data rates on a carrier that is offering BOGOF on most of its smartphones

I think we are starting to see a trend here. Microsoft is becoming more and more irrelevant as people migrate, slowly, to competing products. They will just have to step it up if they want to compete; it's not just about Windows anymore, Apple learned that.

A hiccup. You would think though that the "focus group" they used to create the damn thing would have MENTIONED to someone that they couldn't comment on peoples facebook status... etc. etc. etc.

Sometimes I think people don't understand that companies as large as Microsoft learn more from creating a failed product to learn from those failures and bring forward those successes to the key products they are actually aiming for. Never underestimate their abilities. They aren't around because they are not innovating.

I agree with some of the people that Verizon was not a good target due to their pricing structure. They were too expensive for the social networking teens.

LukeEDay said,
Why bother with an ugly phone like that when you have Blackberry, Droid and iPhone ...

Droid and iPhone are *more*, not less, expensive than KIN (before the price cuts), and the only Blackberry from RIM that would compete (the Storm2) costs no less after the discounts, and the data plan prices are identical.

So, in short, you're saying it's the looks (not price)?

They probably would have saved money by hiring me (college student) to design the KIN. I'm assuming that even if they paid me a fraction of what they paid the team, it would still be a lot and the end product couldn't be any worse than what they came up with.

Requiring a smartphone data plan on a less than smart phone targeted at teens was a dumb idea from the start. Its almost sad that a week after I started hearing advertisements on the radio for the Kin its already dead. Someone didn't do their homework.

All this talk about the data plans being why it failed (while admitting that other smartphones that require data plans that are no cheaper, and while those handsets are more expensive, they are more attractive to teens and tweens) is a great big coverup of one reality (that I pointed out in the previous KIN-related newspiece) - the target market is shallow. Price is irrelevant (if it were, KIN would sell), and features are also pretty much irrelevant (same reasoning). It's about looks and coolness (not features or price). However, do you admit that? Oh, no; that would make you shallow.

great, a bigger focus on Windows Phone 7 ( a bigger developer team) this might explain why microsoft added more developers to make WP7 apps for #ineedthisapp
Looks good

Good news IMO, any company which attempts to develop hardware and software is taking on a huge task, and as with Apple's latest phone can fail spectacularly as there's so much qulity testing to do. I think the same model as with Windows will be better - let hardware specialists make the best hardware and leave MS to what they do best, and make the best software.

UKer said,
Good news IMO, any company which attempts to develop hardware and software is taking on a huge task, and as with Apple's latest phone can fail spectacularly as there's so much qulity testing to do. I think the same model as with Windows will be better - let hardware specialists make the best hardware and leave MS to what they do best, and make the best software.

I agree on the fact that Microsoft should maintain their focus on software. While we're at, they should kill off the Zune as well, given that it's been an epic fail compared to even Creative and SanDisk's MP3 players.

However, I disagree about the iPhone being a failure. Having one myself (the 3G version), I found it to be very good, although iOS 4 has made it a bit sluggish.

MulletRobZ said,

I agree on the fact that Microsoft should maintain their focus on software. While we're at, they should kill off the Zune as well, given that it's been an epic fail compared to even Creative and SanDisk's MP3 players.

However, I disagree about the iPhone being a failure. Having one myself (the 3G version), I found it to be very good, although iOS 4 has made it a bit sluggish.

Totally, the previous iPhones were undoubtedly a success in every way, just the latest shows that quality assurance can't be easily achieved when developing H+S/ware.

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