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7/8/2010
00:04 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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Kin Fallout Gets Ugly

The aftermath of the Kin debacle at Microsoft doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot for employee morale. Those with inside knowledge have started disclosing the circumstances within Microsoft during the development of the Kin and after it was dropped. Many are former Kin team members and just about all are doing so unofficially.

The aftermath of the Kin debacle at Microsoft doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot for employee morale. Those with inside knowledge have started disclosing the circumstances within Microsoft during the development of the Kin and after it was dropped. Many are former Kin team members and just about all are doing so unofficially.The Mini-Microsoft blog takes a look at some of the biggest shortcomings of the device, like the lack of an application store, mediocre Facebook and Twitter integration and the absurd data plan pricing Verizon saddled the phone with. It is no wonder the device failed. Personally I am still astonished it happened so fast. In the 45 days the Kin saw the light of day, there was no time to come up with a plan to fix any of the shortcomings. Microsoft just walked away.

The blog post is only moderately interesting compared to the comments. Some of the comments, currently numbered at 188, are scathing.

Personally I quit because of the frustrating management and autocratic decision style of Terry Myerson and Andrew Lees. The only exec in the team myself and other folks respected was Tom Gibbons who is now sidelined. Lees and Myerson don't know consumer products or phones. Gibbons at least knows consumer product development. We often talk about how Andrew Lees still has a job but Microsoft's loss is a gain for the rest of us.

Or this one:

If I start up a company, I will make sure not to hire any MS leaders. And I don't know why, but after some ICs become leaders, they become ineffective & corrupted in this company. Not only this place is far more dis-organized than my previous companies. People have no sense of "survival" in this company. It seems they are working in wonderland of no accountability, no danger of company shut down, and can be careless for things.

Now, remember that many of these posts are either made by disgruntled employees that had the last two years of their lives ripped out and thrown away or survivors, possibly on the Windows Phone 7 team. The former are bitter and that is certainly understandable. The latter may be trying to say things are as bad as all of that and WP7 is going places.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. Remember that when perusing the comments. And to make matters worse, as the blog notes, Microsoft is preparing to lay some people off. It seems marketing is the biggest target. Perhaps those that were most closely involved with the Kin advertising campaign?

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