The Microsoft Kin phones were not meant to have a long life on this planet. From day one these unique devices (is it a smartphone or a feature phone?) haven’t been met with the greatest of critical acclaim to say the least. It was geared towards a teenage market even though most teenagers wouldn’t be caught dead with them, opting instead for iPhones or Android devices that had exactly the same data plans. So we can’t say there was much shock when it was revealed this afternoon that Microsoft is canning the Kin project and refocusing all efforts instead on Windows Phone 7.
Here’s the official statement coming out of Redmond:
“Microsoft has made the decision to focus on the Windows Phone 7 launch and 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.”
It’s clear from the statement that the current Kin lineup will still be sold for a yet undetermined amount of time through Verizon, but don’t expect to be seeing any new devices, updates, or any other Kin-focused projects ever again.
I’m sure this is a hard pill for Microsoft to swallow, as the Kins have been considered by most tech pundits and news sites to be a complete failure. This means millions of dollars invested in R&D, marketing, and manufacturing the phones went completely down the drain. But at least MS recognizes that now and is trying to salvage whatever it can of the project, taking all of its remaining resources and concentrating them on the Windows Phone 7 project instead. This is frankly what the company should have done in the first place.
While the Kin has been a hard sell since it was released, it is officially even more difficult now that Microsoft has proclaimed it as obsolete. I wouldn’t want to buy a phone that no longer is being supported or updated by its manufacturer. How do you feel about it? If you have been considering a purchase of the Kin One or Two, does this change your mind completely?
Let’s just hope that the Windows Phone 7 project doesn’t suffer the same fate a few months after its release.
If you liked the post, you might find these interesting too:
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- Microsoft hints at Kin phones’ prices, lets you win 50 of them
- New Windows Phone 7 devices, including Asus E600, to be launched at MWC 2011