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June 30, 2010

That was fast – Microsoft kills KIN phone after two months

Posted by David Hunter at 7:09 PM ET.

Microsoft’s KIN phone didn’t last long – it was announced in April and killed today in favor of the mainline Windows Phone program:

Amid anemic sales, Microsoft has decided to halt work on its Kin phone less than two months after the product hit the market.

The social media-oriented phone will not make its planned European debut and Microsoft is shifting the entire Kin team to work on Windows Phone 7, the Microsoft smartphone operating system due out later this year. Andy Lees, who heads up the company’s cell phone efforts announced the move to Microsoft workers earlier on Wednesday, according to a source close to the company.

A Microsoft spokesman later confirmed the news.

With Microsoft’s decision, it is now unclear whether there will ever be software updates to the phone, including one originally planned for this summer. Over the weekend, Verizon cut the price on the two Kin models by as much as 50 percent.

Microsoft won’t say how much it spent on the Kin launch, but it has been backed by significant TV, Web, and print and radio advertising campaigns.

Neither Verizon nor Microsoft would say how many devices were sold, but a source told CNET that the number of Kins sold thus far is more than 1,000 but south of 10,000–significantly below expectations.

"We don’t share sales data or marketing strategies but the device remains an important part of our portfolio," a Verizon representative said in a statement.

Roz Ho, the Microsoft executive who lead the unit that developed the Kin will oversee the transition of the team and then move to an as-yet-determined role at the company, according to a source.

Every company makes missteps, but this one is destined to be a classic right up there with the Edsel.



Filed under Kin, Microsoft, Microsoft Hardware, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7

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