almost half a year since Microsoft's KIN handsets were yanked off the market only weeks after
launch. Microsoft is now in the midst of a relatively successful Windows Phone 7 campaign.
What Windows Phone 7 lacks in sales, it at least makes up for in
enthusiastic customer reception. By contrast, the ill-fated KIN project
was neither well received nor hot selling.
Microsoft spent millions to complete the KIN project, and in the end reportedly
sold less that 10,000 handsets. Our estimate puts the loss per handset at around $60,000.
Even as Verizon tries to clearance off the
remaining KINs as budget phones (sans data package), Microsoft
has announced this week that it has officially killed KIN Studios [press release], the unit responsible for handling
data services to this cellular monstrosity.
With the death of the studio, so too has died many of the KIN's services.
Specifically, the several thousand KIN users no longer will have access
to features including photo sharing, search near me, social media
integration. Zune Pass appears to still be functioning. And the
phones can still make calls and text. But the already poorly featured KIN
devices have become even worse for wear, overnight.
Atari crushed and buried copies of the notoriously awful E.T. the
Extra-Terrestrial in the New Mexico desert. Microsoft has not announced
any equally dramatic plans for its own blockbuster failure, but the shuttering
of KIN's services clearly marks Microsoft's desire to bury any traces that
remain of the KIN effort and refocus its efforts on Windows Phone 7.