Microsoft Kills Kin Phone - InformationWeek
Mobile // Mobile Devices
11:59 PM

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.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll