Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

Summary: An unnamed Microsoft employee tells a tech blog that the death of the KIN was an embarrassment across campus

SHARE:
TOPICS: Microsoft
34

It's almost like being a fly on the wall when the execs at Microsoft decided to kill the mobile phone failure known as the KIN. The Business Insider blog today posted a comment from an unnamed Microsoftie who said that embarrassment over the KIN's demise was felt among the rank and file across campus.

Granted, it's just one Microsoftie emailing a tech blog with his/her own assessment of the mood on campus when the news broke - but I can't imagine that anyone on the KIN team was feeling all that upbeat when the news of killing the KIN hit the blogosphere.

Apparently, the team wasn't all that happy with the launch of the product either, commenting that "no one thought it was great product" to launch to begin with.

The blog post includes some quotes - again, all anonymous - from what appears to be employees sounding off on an independent message board of sorts. As you can imagine, none of it is too flattering for Microsoft. In fairness, the blog post solicited comments from company representatives or employees who were proud of what the company accomplished, despite how it turned out.

So far, it doesn't appear that there have been any.

Topic: Microsoft

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

34 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • ?no one thought it was great product?

    Did they think anyone would? What is going through Ballmer's head, and why isn't he part of the upcoming layoffs?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • Ballmer

      @NStalnecker

      Yup, that is the question. Ballmer is slowly taking MS down the tube IMHO, but I am not a shareholder, so I don't really care.
      Economister
      • RE: Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

        Most of MS new ventures have really solidified my shared opinion of Ballmer. MS id going down hill fast.
        sam - <a href="http://smuggecko.com">seo tips</a>
        soskert
    • And, Embarrassing? Heck this makes them look like the Village idiots.

      How stupid can you get???
      DonnieBoy
      • Hang on!

        @DonnieBoy - "How stupid can you get??? "

        Hold on! The best is yet to come! Wait until WinMo 7 hits and competes with Droid!
        SpikeyMike
    • RE: Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

      @NStalnecker

      Hey now ! Don't diss Ballmer.

      As an Apple Stockholder, I confidently proclaim Mr. Ballmer as the BEST CEO Microsoft has ever had.

      Oh, wait. Forget what I said about being an Apple Stockholder.
      Jkirk3279
  • Microsoft has been successful in several areas

    While Kin is a high-profile failure, Microsoft has had more than its share of successes over the last couple years.<br><br>Windows 7: Very Successful Launch<br><br>xbox 360 and xbox Live: An established brand that is now profitable<br><br>Microsoft Office and SharePoint 2010: So far very well received<br><br>SQL Server 2008: Very solid product that is gaining market share<br><br>Netbooks: Microsoft was pulled kicking and screaming into them, but it doesn't change the fact they are now the successful software leader in the category<br><br>Bing: A minority player, but one with a loyal following<br><br>Yes, Kin sucked. But don't count out MS in mobile. Once they put their A-team on it, expect something good.
    pkatz
    • More of the same: windows and office

      Please:
      -Xbox is barely profitable, and still owes a fortune.
      -Bing is nowhere
      -Netbook fad has passed and only undercut windows revenue

      SQL Server is no better than the day it was spun off from Sybase. It's one of 3-4 commercial RDMS in the space.

      Sharepoint is the only light in an otherwise dim room. Even this is a faint flicker from a small candle.

      "But don't count out MS in mobile. Once they put their A-team on it, expect something good."

      Where has their A team been all these years?

      It's surprising MS campus is upset, it hasn't seemed to affected the delusion of the MCSE talkbackers;-)
      Richard Flude
      • RE: Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

        @Richard Flude I am not sure "owes a fortune" is accurate. 360 has turned a profit since 2008. Monies spent on 'R&D' are written off to some degree, so I am not convinced that they have a hole to dig out of. I think Zune is a bigger issue than 360 in the E&D division.
        ScotlynHatt
    • The A-team?

      @pkatz expect something good.

      When are they going to put the A-team on it? According to the comments in the linked article the Windows Phone 7 team is where they sent the folks responsible for Vista and now the've sent the Kin team in after them. Setting aside the mythical man-month adage that adding developers to a late project just makes it later, putting that much failure in one place could cause a rift in space/time and destroy us all.

      XBox - yeah, it's not bleeding cash any more. Does it have any hope of winning back the billions sunk into it before it broke even? No. Is this what 'softies call a win?

      Bing and Live: reportedly a $3B/Yr money pit. Leasing 6% of the search engine market for $3B/yr. Good job. Where can I get a job burning money like that?

      Netbooks: strongarmed the OEMs into licensing Windows with every unit shipped. Nicely done. Try to repeat that on ARM-based tablets. We'll wait here.
      symbolset
    • Excellent points

      @pkatz
      Windows 7 is what OS X might become 5 years from now.

      XBox Live: $1,000,000,000+/year.
      http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/07/bloomberg-estimates-xbox-live-to-be-worth-1-billion/
      Those are numbers that the Apple fanboys cheer and scream and high five and clap when Jobs announces it for App Store. Watch them try to downplay it because this is MS. Cue the double standards...

      MS's enterprise software is still raking in billions of $$$/year.

      Netbooks may have lowered profits per sale but when sales are that high, who cares? :)

      Bing and WP7 are big maybes though. It will be hard to dethrone Google in search and in mobile, MS has taken a major step [b]backwards[/b] from WM. Instead of focusing on what makes MS a truly great company, they decided for the first time ever to copy Apple. Unfortunately, they decided to copy Apple from 3 years ago. Too bad.
      NonZealot
      • RE: Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

        @NonZealot I agree with most of what you are saying with one exception: [b]Instead of focusing on what makes MS a truly great company, they decided for the first time ever to copy Apple.[/b] This is not true at all - Windows came from the original Mac OS Lisa... So WP is not the first time MS has copied from Apple, this time they won't be as successful with their copy.
        athynz
      • RE: Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

        @athynz Newsflash: Both Apple's OS and Windows evolved out of the Xerox PARC. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
        SmokinTechie
      • RE: Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

        @Smokin'Techie
        The key difference being that Apple was shown the GUI work going on at PARC by Xerox and they licensed it, building a new OS. Microsoft looked at Apple's work and then essentially tried to copy it by putting a GUI on top of MS-DOS.

        It's a fine distinction, but an important one. Xeorx abandoned the GUI they were developing at the Palo Alto research Center (PARC is a place not a product) and the execs sold the work to Apple. Apple then took the next logical steps. It wasn't imitation, it wasn't invention (not by Apple anyway) it was innovation - taking what exists and making it more useful/successful. You could argue that Microsoft innovated further from there. Personally I don't think their OS really became truly innovative (as opposed to imitative) until last year, but that's strictly my opinion.

        Nearly all human endeavor builds on what came before it. We are iterative, innovative, and sometimes imitative creatures. Nothing new on that score.
        use_what_works_4_U
      • More joking around from Mr. NonZealot (Not!!)...

        @NonZealot

        You always crack me up with your delusions.

        I've been running, configuring and testing Windows 7 since the Beta was released. As improved as it is over Vista, there's no way it even begins to match the simplicity, reliability and elegance of Mac OS X... from five years ago!
        pbromelkamp
      • RE: Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

        @NonZealot
        Thanks for the laugh, I needed it. The only place where OS X isn't caught up to Windows is gaming, but at least for me, Steam games run better under Snow Kitty than they do under 7 on my machine at home.
        nix_hed
      • @nixhed

        I have a MacBook so I have first hand experience with OS X. It truly is the worst OS to ever have been unleashed on mankind.
        NonZealot
    • RE: Microsoftie: KIN failure was an embarrassment across campus

      @pkatz - While the KIN itself wasn't beloved by the tech world, the IDEA of what the KIN was trying to accomplish, complete with the Studio (which has actually gotten kudos from the tech world), was laudible and brought some great ideas to the mobile world.

      The KIN was never intended to be an iPhone replacement (which is what most of the tech rags compared it to), and yet that's how it was always reviewed.

      Sure it has some shortcomings, none of which couldn't have been rectified, but we will never know for sure because someone decided to kill it before it could really get rolling.

      That said, from what I've read, some of the folks from KIN will move over to Windows 7 phone as KIN released a product and has some great domain knowledge, both in what worked and what didn't work, and can provide that useful experience to make Windows 7 phone great.

      Now they just have to execute to make it a reality.
      PollyProteus
      • Talk about being delusional

        If you actually believe what you are saying ..... you need to contact some professional help.
        wackoae
  • Windows Phone 7 will fail just like Kin

    Microsoft's mobile failures run deep.

    It's not just the failing of a little phone. It's a failure of the core management of Microsoft, it's a failure of the strategy, execution, design and marketing departments throughout Microsoft.

    Kin was a public display of the incredible ineptitude of Microsoft management. The industry looks on in horror. Developers and OEMs look on in horror.

    Whatever little credibility Microsoft had in the mobile business has now evaporated. Microsoft has finished in mobile. That's it. Game over.
    Vbitrate