Feeds

Microsoft looks to KIN for support

Desperation or shelf-clearing?

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

A leaked Verizon product list shows Microsoft's Kin isn't dead, it's just been sleeping a while and will return as a cheapy feature-phone later this year – only without the good bits.

That means none of the cloud services that were supposed to justify the huge monthly contract Kin users were expected to pay (put at $70 a month by Electronista's figures), but it's also not a sign that Windows Phone 7 is failing so badly that Microsoft feels compelled to dust off its earlier failures.

By any metric, the Kin was an unmitigated failure - selling only around 9,000 during its short life. The pair of Kin handsets were supposed to succeed Danger's Sidekick in bringing cloud-computing to the youth hanging on the corner, but failed spectacularly to catch the imagination and quickly disappeared as Windows Phone 7 took the limelight.

Now the two handsets have reappeared in a Verizon road map leaked to PPCGeeks. The handsets are listed as suitable for "Young Adults/Teens", but with no mention of the cloud services that were supposed to differentiate the Kin platform beyond compatibility with Microsoft's Zune software.

It has been suggested that this is in some way related to the catastrophic failure of Windows Phone 7 in America, and this very morning we received several emails directing us to research by the Boy Genius blog that (according to our tipsters) "proves Windows Phone 7 sales have tanked". Boy Genius makes no such claim of course. The blog phoned 15 stores about half of whom said the handsets were selling OK, the other half having sold no more than a handful. So product is not flying off the shelves, but still not the embarrassment the blogosphere is so desperate to see.

More likely this is down to Microsoft having a warehouse full of Kin handsets that no one wants. It is highly unlikely that the company only made 9,000 of the things, and selling them as feature phones is cheaper than dumping them in a landfill, so what we might have here is a company clearing stock of a failed product by selling it off cheap.

When RIM arrived in the UK, O2 ordered millions of BlackBerry devices it couldn't shift, and ended up running quarter-page adverts in the FT offering to send 10 BlackBerrys to anyone who asked. Such things are an embarrassing reminder of a past failure, but nothing more than that. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.