Microsoft Kin Death Raises Windows Phone 7 Questions
Microsoft's elimination of its Kin phones indicate that the company is continuing to sweep aside what it sees as unnecessary consumer projects in favor of focusing on Windows Phone 7, its upcoming mobile platform designed to compete with the Apple iPhone 4 and Google Android smartphones.Microsoft is discontinuing its Kin phones, which evidently failed to gain traction with its target demographic: teenagers and young adults obsessed with social networking. As the news spread across the Web, analysts and pundits widely assumed the Kin's death had been hastened by the recent shakeup in Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices Division. "Microsoft has made the decision to focus on the Windows Phone 7 launch and will not ship Kin in Europe this fall as planned," reads a June 30 statement from Microsoft. "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."
Carried exclusively in the United States by Verizon, the Kin One and Kin Two, announced May 13, included hardware and applications tailored to deliver a constant stream of social-networking data to the user. In a likely harbinger of trouble, Verizon in recent days had slashed the price of the stubby Kin One from $49.99 to $29.99 with a two-year plan, and the more rectangular Kin Two from $99.99 to $49.99. While the devices allowed users to seamlessly upload their photos and data to the cloud, they also lacked games, Flash support, and the ability to download third-party applications.