Microsoft Kills Kin Phone - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile // Mobile Devices

Microsoft Kills Kin Phone

Engineers working on the handset will transfer to the Windows Phone 7 development team.

Microsoft said Wednesday it has stopped work on the Kin to focus "exclusively" on Windows Phone 7, the company's new smartphone operating system that's scheduled to ship later this year. The Kin was built and promoted to attract a younger, social networking-oriented audience.

Microsoft KIN Phone
(click image for larger view)
Microsoft KIN Phone

"We are integrating our Kin team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from Kin into future Windows Phone releases," the company said in a statement emailed to InformationWeek.

Microsoft planned to continue working with Verizon Wireless, which offers the Kin, to sell the remaining stock in the United States.

Microsoft did not offer a reason for pushing the power-off button on the Kin, which the software maker launched May 13. However, the announcement came one day after Verizon dramatically reduced prices of its two Kin models.

The Kin One, the lower-end model, dropped from $50 to $30, while the Kin Two, went from $100 to $50. Both prices included a $100 mail-in rebate and two-year service contract.

Analysts had said that Microsoft had a tough sell with the Kin, which fell in between a feature phone and smartphone. More expensive than many feature phones, but without the capabilities of a smartphone, the Kin was considered in market limbo.

Microsoft and Verizon have not released sales figures for the Kin, but The Wall Street Journal, quoting anonymous sources, said the company shelved the Kin, because the handset did not meet sales expectations.

In attempt to attract a younger audience, Microsoft had emphasized in the Kin text messaging, status updates, e-mail, camera and video features. However, unlike the Apple iPhone and smartphones running Google's Android OS, the Kin did not offer the ability to run third-party applications or include a navigation system for more advanced mapping applications.

One of the Kin features that has received positive review is its Studio Web service, which automatically uploads everything created on the phone to Microsoft servers. This includes photos, videos text messages, and social media updates. Users can access the information through a web interface.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll