Feeds

Microsoft looks to KIN for support

Desperation or shelf-clearing?

Seven Steps to Software Security

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. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
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
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.