Microsoft May Have Just Killed the Kin

Ryan Whitwam

Microsoft's pseudo-smartphone, the Kin, was just launched six weeks ago, and it looks like its days might already be numbered . In a statement Redmond has confirmed that the Kin phones will not be rolling out to Europe as planned, and the entire Kin team is to be integrated into the Windows Phone 7 team. This is also where Microsoft will be focusing their efforts.

The Kin was the spiritual successor to the Sidekick, and was in development for a number of years. The operating system was designed as  vertical experience built around social networking. There were no games, and some features (like a calendar and IM) were missing. The launch was plagued by pricing issues. Both the hardware and the monthly service were judged as too expensive by many. Verizon Wireless charges the full smartphone data rate of $30 per month for the Kin phones.

There were rumors that only a few hundred Kins were sold, but Microsoft never confirmed that. At the end of Microsoft's official statement, they say that they "will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones." It's not clear if that means they will just be selling off inventory. Is it best that Microsoft cuts their losses, or should they have iterated the software before giving up?

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