Microsoft’s latest catastrophe, the Kin, has quickly become a huge embarrassment for Microsoft employees of all levels. They only sold 10,000 units before killing the project, and internal embarrassment is quickly tuning into public knowledge of the dysfunctional operations at Microsoft.
Businessinsider.com has gathered up quotes from current and previous Microsoft employees about the Kin project. The employees cite leadership issues and failure to listen to employee feedback on the project as causes for poor market performance.
“We had a huge launch party on campus and I bet that party cost more than the amount of revenues we took in on the product. As an employee, I am embarrassed. As a shareholder, I am pissed. It's one thing to incubate products and bring them to a proof-of-concept to see what works, but it's something else to launch. I suspect we launched because we felt like we HAD to so we could save face because we were trying to build buzz, but overall - HUGE fail."
There are many employees voicing their frustrations, many of which can be read over at the minimsft website. Somewhat less encouraging was this employee's comments on the issues:
“Microsoft discovers its a bad idea after it blows up in the broad market. Absolutely no thanks to any pro-active decision making on Andy's part. Now there is spin that Andy killed kin to put all the wood behind Windows Phone 7. Er, the guy was in charge for two years of Kin development. He could have made this decision far earlier. Similarly Windows Phone 7 has two years of development under his watch. Based on his past performance, 99% chance this is also going to be a total catastrophe. It further doesn't help that much of the Windows Phone 7 leadership team was kicked out of Windows when they screwed up Vista.”
With presumably hundreds of millions of dollars or more spent on the Kin, having it only last a few weeks on the open market represents a colossal business failure at the most fundamental level. It’s clear that Microsoft missed their target market by a long shot with its Kin and that employees were genuinely frustrated with management over the device. Even more so, the same person who headed up the Kin project is now leading WP7, which is leaving employees on uneasy ground after the Kin launch.