After just two months, Microsoft has pulled the plug on the Kin handset line.
"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned," the company said. "Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones."
Here's my take on this:
- First off, Kin never made any sense to me right from the start. Sure, make a product aimed at the young market, but there was no need to create a whole new mobile platform for it. That was just crazy and showed that Microsoft was unfocused in it's approach to mobile.
- Then there affordability. Kin handset plus contract amounted to quite a pretty penny. Given the market it was aimed at, it made little sense.
- This is also bad news for Microsoft in terms of the company's relations with developers and third-party service providers. Developing, and then abandoning platforms is bad for business. Everyone (from developers to users) need confidence that a platform will offer stability and be able to weather storms. What Microsoft has done here with Kin undermines this principal.
- In putting this platform on sale, and then pulling it, not only has Microsoft in effect duped customers into a dead end product, but also handed customers over to it's rivals.
Is anyone really in charge of mobile over at Microsoft? I'm seriously beginning to doubt it.