(Source: Microsoft)
KIN Studio is officially dead

It’s been 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.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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