Microsoft Kills Kin
Microsoft has killed its Kin social phone line just a few weeks after it launched. Gizmodo reports that the company has merged the whole Kin team into the Windows Phone 7 team. Rumors suggest that a mere 500 Kins have been sold to date, and while the figure’s probably higher than that, it might explain such a large project being folded so suddenly.
Kin was accompanied by some strange advertising, but the biggest problem was that Verizon only offered Kin phones with its $30 monthly smartphone data plan. Kin was supposed to be a cheaper, social-oriented alternative to a smartphone, but without a cheaper data plan, it became almost pointless. Even drastic price cuts to just $20/$50 for the Kin One/Two (from $50/100) didn’t help, and Microsoft’s ads promoting Kin as a Windows Phone just caused further confusion.
Read on for the full story behind Kin’s demise.
Here’s Microsoft’s official statement on the matter:
“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.”
While existing Kin owners will probably continue to receive bug fixes and such, we wouldn’t expect any major feature additions. We do hope some of Kin’s unique features – most prominently Kin Studio – will make it to Windows Phone 7.
Perhaps more interesting is the somewhat tragic story behind the Kin failure. Kin arose from Microsoft’s purchase of Danger (maker of the successful Sidekick phones) and was originally sponsored by J Allard (of Xbox fame). Andy Lees, who headed the Windows Mobile team, wasn’t too happy about a parallel phone project going on within the company and managed to get the project transferred from Allard to him. Lees’ team was in the midst of a back-to-the-drawing-board revamp (into Windows Phone 7), so it hardly had resources to devote to Kin, which was delayed as a result.
Lees didn’t think of Kin as much more than a contractual obligation to Verizon. Nonetheless, the team kept working and finally finished the phones, years after their intended launch. Even then, Kin was not to be. Verizon informed the Kin team that it would be offering the phones only with a smartphone data plan, which killed one of the phones’ major selling points– so the Kin team already knew it was doomed. Some sources suggest that Microsoft may have dropped Verizon as a launch partner for Windows Phone 7 in response.
|Print article||This entry was posted by admin on July 2, 2010 at 10:50 pm, and is filed under Mobile, Technology. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
No comments yet.
Microsoft just announced its long-awaited move into the mobile phone hardware space: the software giant will acquire most of Nokia’s devices and services business for €3.79 billion ($5 billion), along with a license to Nokia’s patents for a further €1.65 billion ($2.2 billion), in a cash transaction expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. The €5.44 More >
New benchmark results suggest Intel may have a bright future in smartphones after all– and the first phone to show that is, appropriately, named YOLO. (though sadly it’s spelled “Yolo,” not “#YOLO”) Low-end Android handsets in developing markets sell in the $70-200 range (without carrier subsidies). They’re typically equipped with processors from Chinese manufacturers like More >
Just hours after settling the FTC’s antitrust investigation of its business practices, Google has blocked all Windows Phones from accessing its Google Maps mobile site. The move represents the latest move in an escalating war between Google and Microsoft. Navigating to maps.google.com on any Windows Phone 7 or 8 handset now redirects to Google’s homepage: More >
The Metro-style Mail app in Windows 8 / RT works well enough for Exchange accounts and email hosted on Outlook.com, Gmail, and the like. But the app has no support at all for POP3 accounts and a broken implementation of IMAP. POP is arguably an old, outdated tech (despite many ISPs still using it exclusively), but More >
Russian developer Cotulla has managed to port Windows Phone 8 to HTC’s HD2, adding yet another OS to the legendary smartphone’s collection – which already included Windows Mobile 6.5 (which it originally shipped with), all versions of Windows Phone 7.x (7, 7.5, 7.8), most versions of Android, Ubuntu, other Linux distributions, and Meego, Cotulla tweeted some images of WP8 running More >
about 1 year ago - 1570No commentsMicrosoft+previews+Windows+Phone+8%3A+NT+core%2C+new+Start+tiles%2C+multi-core+CPUs%2C+VoIP%2C+NFC2012-06-20+21%3A29%3A22adminhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.techautos.com%2F%3Fp%3D1570
Microsoft just concluded the Windows Phone Summit, where it announced Windows Phone 8. The event highlighted only platform-level changes, not final end-user features, but there was still plenty to cover. Most significantly, Windows Phone is moving from the Windows CE kernel to the same Windows NT components underlying Windows 8. Windows Phone 8 features a More >
It looks like it’s not only Google that think the future’s in the Cloud; Baidu have recently unveiled their latest Cloud phone. As a Baidu handset, it’ll also include voice search, voice control, and other online services offered by the Chinese search company. Of course, its biggest feature is going to be cloud storage. It’ll More >
HTC just announced its new One X superphone at the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona. The Android-powered handset features HTC’s first quad-core processor, a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 running at 1.5 GHz. Other specs include a 4.7″ Super LCD screen with 1280×720 HD resolution, 32 GB storage, 1 GB RAM, an 8-megapixel camera with More >
A YouTube video posted by the Dark Force Team (DFT), a well-known smartphone hacking group, shows Windows Mobile 6.1 running within WML — some sort of emulator — on an HTC Windows Phone 7.5 handset. The old OS shows up just like an app, so you can use Windows Phone 7′s task switcher to switch More >
Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system is shaping up to be one of the most significant updates in the company’s history, featuring a new Windows Phone-inspired Metro tile interface, support for ARM processors (so the same OS will run everything from a tablet or netbook to a workstation), and much more. Now the winds of More >