Microsoft Kin gets canned
Microsoft's spiritual successor to the Sidekick, the Kin, has been canned after a mere 48 days on the market, and will not be launched in Europe. The news comes after recent rumors that a mere 500 units had been sold.
It's been a disastrous quarter for Microsoft, with the loss of Robbie Bach and J Allard (the man who convinced Bill Gates to spend $2 billion creating the Xbox) from the Entertainment & Devices division, and the cancellation of the decidedly buzzworthy Courier tablet project.
The official statement is as follows:
"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. 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."
A Verizon spokeswoman told BusinessWeek that the Kin is "is still an important part of our portfolio," though one has to wonder, as marketing a phone for tweens with a compulsory $29.99 monthly data plan is a bad idea, whether the plan includes unlimited data or not.
It does make sense for Microsoft to fall back to a unified strategy for Windows Phone 7. Windows Mobile has dropped from a 23% market share to well under 10% thanks to heated competition from Apple's iPhone and Google's Android platform, and if executed correctly, WP7 could put Microsoft back in the game. It has been built from scratch, and includes Microsoft's best-in-class Xbox Live Arcade platform from the Xbox 360 console, which will finally give Apple a run for its money as the "fun phone".