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

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 …


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  1. IT specialist
    Black Helicopters

    Windows Phone 7 will be next to fail

    Any software developer would be a fool to waste time making applications for Microsoft's next great effort in Mobile, Windows Phone 7.

    Windows Phone 7 won't arrive feature complete, as Robbie Bach said. It will be immature, and rushed to market unfinished.

    The market will chew up Windows Phone 7 and spit it out, just like it did with Kin.

  2. MacRat
    Gates Horns

    Give aways?

    They didn't try to give them away like they did with the Zune?

  3. Jay Jaffa
    Thumb Down

    Is anyone on watch over there?

    This product had little chance form day one. I pointed it out to my wife and she couldn't understand why Microsoft would release something so ineffective when the game had moved on so far with Android and Google. For f*&k - she works in Health + Beauty products and has little or no real understanding of tech. What the f*&k were Ozzie, Mundie, Ballmer and turner doing releasing this rubbish?

    If I were a MSFT stockholder I'd be welll on the way to selling on my stock. This company is only going one way.

    1. Daniel 1

      Heh. "Poor Kin Team", or "Poor Windows 7 Team"?

      I'll bet the Windows 7 people will welcome their erstwhile Kins-folk with the traditional warmheartedness for which Redmond is so justly famous.

      "Please welcome the Wireless Server Team"

  4. Herby

    It has ONE feature...

    It can make phone calls. Costly, but it does work. No "death grip" here.

  5. VeganVegan


    and, no messing!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    WinCE, PocketPC, AutoPC, PC muscle...

    Seriously, it's getting to the point now where Microsoft's mobile phone efforts are going beyond laugh-out-loud funny and you're starting to pity them like an old man disappearing into his own dementia.

    I honestly feel sorry for the team who worked on this because they must be feeling as depressed and useless as a geriatric who means well by doing the washing up but then sees you take it all back to the sink to wash it again because their best efforts weren't good enough to remove the old food, even though they swore blind it was clean when they did it.

    Perhaps MS's entire mobile operation should be put into a home, just like Nokia found a nice little foundation willing to care for Symbian in its final years.

  7. Mikel

    Nice Windows Phone 7 tag

    Verizon is off the short list for the WP7 one would think, but it's up in the air whose idea that was. Who's the largest US cellular provider again? Oh, my.

    The announcement takes care to state critical features of the immensely popular Kin will be carried forward to WP7. That's a bold stroke. Not what I'd have done.

    I wonder how many Kin phones were baked into that Microsoft funded IDC study that claimed a market for 31 million Windows Mobile handsets by the end of next year. Lots?

    The phone is cloud-backed. No announcement yet on how long the servers will remain up, and precious customer memories retained. I'd caution people to back their stuff up - the thing is heir to the SideKick, and if you don't know how that worked out, google "Microsoft Danger".

    The ads are still running on TV, print and on the web, but the radio station I listen to has stopped pumping the thing. Prepaid ads probably. People are still astroturfing on facebook, myspace and twitter as well. 200,000 facebook fans? I wonder how much that cost all together. It must have been a good chunk of cash - I've seen dozens of TV ads alone, on multiple stations.

    Oh, how I envy the popular mobile app developer today. I can only imagine the rare privilege of being the one to handle the Windows Phone 7 evangelists' phone calls. You don't get a shot like that every year.

  8. Zbig

    What's with that memory?

    "as you had just 8Gb memory"

    8Gb or 8GB? Either way, it's not on the small side in my book.

  9. hammarbtyp

    Classic Mistake

    MS made the classic mistake in believing that the yoof market would be happy with a phone with less features than the rest of us. Its as they somehow believe that they were some sort of alien species with different needs and desires.

    The fact is the target audience the kin was aimed at are more likely to have the fully featured smart phones than the older generation

  10. SilverWave

    2 Years too late and $99 dollars too much - Oh and Danger etc..,

    There is FAIL and then there is KINFAIL or even, possibly... MSFAIL if this happens too often.

  11. Shonko Kid

    ...just 500 KINs have been sold...

    *choke* Even by Barmy Ballmer's standards that's EPIC FAIL! 'Bob' anyone?

    In most cases, the longer a company engages with an industry sector the better they get to know it, M$ seem to be getting worse and worse at Mobile as the years drag on for them. Give it up.

  12. Patrick 8

    500 phones sold is a nice even number

    Does this mean all those KIN phones sold were to Verizon stores themselves?

  13. hahnchen

    An unbelievable fuck up

    How could Microsoft have released such a fatally flawed product to market? This was dead from the get go, and every commentator could see it.

    It released a featurephone in the era of the smartphone. It's just a sign of the massive culture of extravagance and complacency that Microsoft live in.

    This should have been killed way early. They should have killed this before announcing WinPho7. How could they possibly allow an internal mobile team to detract from WinPho7? This is one of the reasons why the man smiling in the picture in your article no longer works at Microsoft.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    This is even more pitiful than the Zune.

    It's interesting to see that the downfall of MS is more of a whimper than a bang.. The genie was let out of the bottle with Vista- it didn't kill them outright, but it was around and unpopular for long enough for the Great Unwashed to get psychologically used to the idea of there being a choice.

    The adventurous even tried running Linux or MacOS, le gasp!

    Anyway, long story short, they ruined their own appearance of complete control. Ever since then, under the tender gaze of Uncle Fester, they've been seen as increasingly desperate. Increasingly lame products and the marketing equivalent of Dad Dancing.

    Just look at the stories all over the IT gutter press (hi, reg!). It's mostly Google and Apple, and some piss-dull storage stuff- MS hardly registers most days. That's the most telling bit- they're not even relevant enough to be properly hated anymore.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The amazing thing is...

    They can churn out this rubbish time and time again and still make a bundle of cash because of windows and office.

    I don't see this changing anytime soon.

    1. Harlan Grove

      making money

      If it weren't for the Xbox, I'd think MSFT needed a monopoly to be able to make money.

      Shame the break-up didn't happen back when MSFT lost their antitrust case. The Windows and Office companies would likely still be going strong, but the others would have died off by now.

  16. paul brain

    The first people I would sack..

    Would be the chumps who decide brand names in MS.

    Zune ? , Kin ?

    Forget if the product is or isn't any good , or if the price point is way off the mark.

    Marketing people, first up against the wall when I get in power !!

  17. NH

    Can't believe no-one’s posted this, but....

    'KIN hell

  18. Andrew Garrard

    Collectors' item?

    They might be valuable in twenty years' time. If only among people who want to laugh.

    1. Robin

      re: Collectors' item?

      Indeed. "Limited edition" by virtue of sales figures?

  19. Grrblahblah
    Thumb Down

    It's a Kin disgrace...

    the way Microsoft have dropped the ball in the mobile/pda sector. My current phone is Windows mobile 6.5, and it although the hardware is actually quite impressive the crud OS from Microsoft is about as frustrating as buying something online using “via Visa”, it elicits curses and spitting every time I make a call, it’s total and utter sh1t.

    I just can't begin to comprehend the arrogance that makes them want to go up against an evidently much love brand like Apple (personally I detest them, I like the product but detest the company) and not even try to compete on price in the middle of a recession. Come off it!

    Bill gates needs to drop the fluffy image get back to Redmond with a bl00dy great hatchet and start putting a bit of vision back into the place. Evidently the bald bean counter, with big mouth, they have running business at the moment isn't up to the job.

    So, I’m left with a choice of Android, Blackberry or iphone. I think I’ll get onto ebay and go buy a second hand retro phone.

    1. Philippe

      re:it isn't a Kin disgrace

      Microsoft is irrelevant, if you think Billy boy back at the helm would change anything you are folloing yourself. if you really want some uncool second zone products just go and buy some Nokia.

      At least they re reliable..

  20. Philippe

    The following of the beginning of the end

    one fail after another.. One abandonned product after another

    BoB, Vista, Kin,

    Nobody pays for office 2010 or windows 7. (just use the beta.)

    i think, the time has come to stop reporting about Microsoft, and let it die a slow and death.

    I can't wait for the Amiga like stories in a decade or two between some of the patent holders..

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Let's be charitable

      BOB is last century. Let us forget it and RIP.

      Besides, Microsoft has had such a string of failures since Y2K, there is ample enough fodder to make fun of without digging up that old corpse.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Brian
    Thumb Down

    Zune Dead?

    "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."

    This statement is incorrect in so many ways.. MS killed off all of their OLDER Zune players. Zune HD is still alive. The online music service didn't come after the zune or even replace the Zune.. the service has always been something that you could use with or without a zune. The zune is just heavily integrated such that you can buy/download songs from the zune itself.

  23. JonHendry

    Back to their core competency

    Making digital watches that nobody wants.

  24. Catherine Keynes

    Where does this leave Sharp

    The KIn hardware was built by Sharp, I wonder if there was a kill fee.

  25. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Hey Ballmer !

    I've got an idea :

    Instead of continuously ridiculing yourself in the mobile arena, the next time you have a bright idea, just sum up all the expenses and write me a check for the total.

    At least you'll make someone happy, and without the fail.

    It's a win-win as far as I'm concerned. !

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS didn't kill Kin, Verizon did

    The US mobile phone market is so royally fucked up it's unbelievable. $70/month for a device like this, marketed at the "youth" segment, was simply unreal.

    If Microsoft introduced the Kin in Europe, with typical European tarriffs, and phone companies that actually compete for customers, it might have have made an impression. In the US, where you can't switch providers without trowing your old phone away, and $80-$100/month contracts are becoming "normal", what did Kin bring to the table?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the device

    The problem was the data plan. The target market isn't able to stump up the sort of monthly payments that Kin came with. Had it been sold unbundled it deserves to have done well - the Cloud based approach to pictures and the like is actually a good idea.

    So for once Microsoft isn't actually the culprit.

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