Feeds

Microsoft looks to KIN for support

Desperation or shelf-clearing?

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.