Feeds

Microsoft's KIN is dead, long live Windows Phone 7

Curse of Zune lives

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Microsoft is killing its ill-conceived KIN social network phones, just six weeks after launch. The devices were meant to usher in the next generation of smartphone.

The software giant told The Reg in a statement Wednesday that it no longer plans to launch the KIN in Europe and that it will work with US carrier Verizon to sell any remaining KINs in stock. It's been reported that just 500 KINs have been sold since US availability in May.

Those working on KIN are being moved into Microsoft's Windows 7 Phone team, to incorporate "valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases."

Robbie Bach with next of KIN

Bach next to his Kin at launch

That's exactly the same language Microsoft used when it killed the Zune player and turned it into an online music service – used by, you guessed it, KIN.

Microsoft's KIN kill order was first reported here.

Unveiled in April, the KIN had the shortest lifespan of any product in Microsoft's 35-year history. It was a badly conceived idea and a classic example of Microsoft trying to segment a mass market using somebody else's idea, hoping it could then squeeze out some cheap money and market share.

Microsoft called KIN the "next generation of the social phone". Microsoft said much the same about its doomed Zune player, calling it a driving the next-generation of digital music. Like the KIN, Zune was to achieve this by padding the device with online services – in this case, music services.

Microsoft pitched the KINs as offering online back up with the ability to rank your favorite feeds and social buddies and drag photos around the screen to share them with other people.

What you couldn't do, though, was play Flash-based video, install other applications, or store anything as you had just 8Gb memory.

Meaning the KINs amounted to a device-specifically for texting, Facebooking, Tweeting, and taking photos – things you could do on any other smart phone – but at a premium price.

The KIN ONE and KIN TWO hit retail priced at a whopping $49.99 and $99.99 respectively with Verizon voice plans kicking in at $39.99 a month and separate email and web starting at $29.99. Spending $110 on the cheapest phone and plans locked you into a two-year contract.

Tellingly, Verizon this week slashed the prices for KIN ONE and KIN TWO in half. Before that, Microsoft had to navigate hostile reviews from an underwhelmed geek press, and change its KIN advertising to kill a case of sexting using a KIN phone's camera.

The KIN was the last master work of former entertainment and devices group president Robbie Bach, and while it makes nothing but sense for Microsoft to focus on Windows Phone 7, it's remarkable Microsoft had to re-learn the lesson of the failed Zune that people want only so many online services and actually like a slightly chunky but cool client. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
EE & Vodafone will let you BONK on the TUBE – with Boris' blessing
Transport for London: You can pay, but don't touch
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
Google eyes business service in latest Fiber trials
Lucky Kansas City buggers to host yet another pilot program
Huawei exec: 'Word of mouth' will beat Apple and Samsung in Europe
World Mobile Telephone Factory No.3 won't fling the big bucks around just yet
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.