Microsoft KIN getting the axe

Wasn't it yesterday we heard rumors of a software update for the Microsoft KIN?  Just as we had hopes a software update would breath new life into the KIN, we are now hearing that Microsoft has pulled the plug on the Windows Phone. The official statement from Microsoft reads,

"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we 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."

While Microsoft will site the need to focus on Windows Phone 7, poor sales might have played a role in the decision as well. You also had issues of the KIN not having any apps (YouTube would have been nice), no calender, and pricing issues (hardware and data) that didn't help matters.

The one shining feature of the KIN was the KIN Studio. Hopefully, Microsoft will salvage that feature and find a way to incorporate it into the WP7 picture.


George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • Seriouly, Microsoft mobile strategy is pretty pathetic. Why release the Kin in the first place. They should have know this was gonna happen. Hopefully they learn form this going into WP7.
  • Better notify the next of Kin
  • kin you be any cheesier?
  • It's as though they pushed it out the door to please shareholders who wondered what became of the Danger acquisition and millions of R&D and hoped no one would notice how poorly-positioned and simply underwhelming it is. i'm sad for the loss because i was looking forward to a GSM Kin One with better built-in apps and maybe even a marketplace. But the more i think about it, the more i realize that the Kin is basically a WP7 device with a different launcher and an almost exclusive focus on cloud storage. i'm sure we'll see something similar running Windows Phone 7.
  • I agree; feature phones are still popular and, if they took more time to develop a few useful apps, designed better hardware (for the Kin Two at least; the keyboard on that looked horrible), and tried to get Verizon to create a special data plan for it, they could've been really successful. It's a shame.
  • It's called "Pre" and it's made by Palm. Er, HP. It runs apps and has a nice OS. Two items that Microsoft forgot to add to the KIN feature checklist.
  • Though it's embarrassing for MS (and Vzn) at least they know when to pull the plug on a failed effort. Sounds like they've finally gotten the same singular focus that's made Apple (iPhone), Google (Android), and RIM (Blackberry) so successful.
  • Well, when you try to sell a phone to a market that doesn't need it... Most of the people that would consider the KIN would be looking at full on smart phones....and in that arena the KIN simply couldn't compete. Hell, I'd take a freaking year old HTC Hero over the castrated KIN.
  • The market still needs featurephones. There's a lot of people who just want a phone with a good music player, web browser, and camera. Maybe a little more or a little less but they don't need or care for a bunch of apps or other features, and they certainly don't want half of their phone bill going to their data package. The Kin could've been a contender in the featurephone market had they worked more on the core functionality and released it with a properly-priced featurephone data package.
  • it's not a surprise.
    i have never understood what was the meaning of kin
  • I LOVE the interface of zune hd.I can say it is the best I have ever used on a mobile device.I have seen many iphones and android phones but not a single one has impressed me.
  • Wow. So you're that guy. The one that actually bought a Zune. Oh wait, you never actually said you own one. Can't blame you. If Microsoft offered me either a Zune HD or money to astroturf forums like this, I'd take the money too. Good move.
  • This should have suprised no one except for Balmer. Why can't he get the axe?
  • Who do you think gave the green light to kill it in the first place? He obviously saw that sales weren't there and dropped it quick. Most of the blame is with verizon though for sticking such a data plan price on it. The devices themselfs weren't that expensive under contract. In any case, the Kin Spot and the Kin Studio are both good innovations, and those should live on in some form in WP7 I'd hope.
  • They should have launched on Sprint, lower data prices.
  • The point was it should have never been given the green light to begin with. With the WinMo 6.1/6.5 fiasco and the endless WinMo 7.0 delay, it was an obvious disaster from the get go.
  • Well said! When the Danger team came to MSFT, it was a different world - one without $99 iPhones, or cheap Android licensing. The fact that Mobile now reports directly to Balmer, he's started to streamline the offerings. Rival projects will prove viability or get canned.
    From the distance where I sit, it seems like MSFT are taking the right steps to launch WinPho7 right. But it's all about execution, execution execution!
  • Looks like they didn't do enough marketing research and RND.
  • They didn't copy Apple well enough. That's what Microsoft does best, and they should stick to that one core competency. That just might give WP7 a chance to limp along as a "me too" instead of fading away as yet another dead-end in the long line of dead-end Microsoft mobile OS strategies. Or not. 9 years of constant development and polishing of the iTunes store and now the App Store give Apple a pretty big lead. And, although it's called "Windows Phone 7" it's really a 1.0 product. Microsoft said that publicly months ago. Good luck with that, Ballmer.
  • Hopefully people that have already purchased will continue to get support
  • you know, this is the biggest and best news for windows phone 7 for msft since deciding to start from scratch with a new codebase for winpho7. now there is one horse to get behind and balmer's job is on the line. really.
  • Thanks god I haven't bought any Microsoft kin yet but I am really looking forward to buy window phone 7. I hope it wouldn't have any problem in future.
    Muscle Max XL
  • Pretty ugly looking phone if you ask me!
  • I'm hearing a lot of bad reviews about this new Microsoft KIN. If majority of people think it's not worth purchasing and having, then I'll listen and just wait for a cooler version of its kind. Thanks.
  • Microsoft could really have better reasons of doing so. It's nice to hear and see that even big companies as such do commit some mistakes every now and then and make necessary adjustments right away. Why continue with something they won't benefit on?
  • While it's hard to argue that Kin is an awful product, the saddest part of the story is that many of the people responsible for it knew it was -- they were largely victims of political circumstance, forced to release a phone that was practically raw in the middle. All Blacks Rugby Shirts
  • My friend, it's really all going on for money and only money. The companies really looks our benefits and future always. So the main thing is I haven't bought this phone, God really saves me.DUI Lawyer Sacramento