Microsoft kills KIN, ending Danger team's Pink Project

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
After just 48 days on the market, Microsoft has terminated its KIN phones aimed at the youth market due to a lack of interest from consumers.



KIN was the end result of Microsoft's acquisition of Danger, a Java-based smartphone platform that pioneered messaging-oriented phones targeted at younger people.



After buying Danger, Microsoft insisted on shifting the product a Windows CE kernel rather than Danger's already functional Java-based system. While working on the shift, Microsoft allowed its existing subscribers' data to exist without proper backups, resulting in an inevitable, massive cloud services data loss when its servers failed.



In order to make the new Pink devices profitable, Microsoft skimped on local storage and forced users to store all their data on the cloud (even photos taken with its camera). To keep service cheap, Microsoft limited email message updates to once every 15 minutes.



It then launched the once cheap, youth-oriented platform (previously running on T-Mobile with cut rate plans aimed at that demographic) on the Verizon Wireless network, which tried to charge users $70 per month for voice and data service, despite the device lacking any support for basic smartphone services such as calendar sync, instant messages, or even any email accounts other than Microsoft's own.



Microsoft then tried to sell users another $15 per month a Zune Pass music subscription, hoping to salvage its Zune business by tying it to smartphones. Unsurprisingly, after two years of development, KIN was pulled off the market in just 48 days after only selling a reported 500 units.



The next of KIN



The company wrote in an official statement, "We have made the decision to focus on our Windows Phone 7 launch 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"



Much of the Danger/Pink team that worked on KIN has already left Microsoft following a rash of bad publicity about its cloud failure and several high profile leaks that seemed designed to derail the flawed project out of spite and unbridled frustration with the project's management.



The move to kill KIN follows Microsoft's announcement earlier this year that it would not be releasing its Courier concept as a real product.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,304member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The company wrote in an official statement, "We have made the decision to focus on our Windows Phone 7 launch 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"



    Typical Microsoft fashion. Take (buy) a potentially good company and run it into the ground. I think Microsoft spends more time and money coming up with a spin of marketing speak to make it sound like they were not in fact bumbling idiots running around with their head cut off.



    If M$ keeps this up, they will be the ones that will truly be doomed...
  • Reply 2 of 118
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    I guess it is good that they cut their losses, but what a fiasco. Brutal.
  • Reply 3 of 118
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    Typical Microsoft fashion. Take (buy) a potentially good company and run it into the ground. I think Microsoft spends more time and money coming up with a spin of marketing speak to make it sound like they were not in fact bumbling idiots running around with their head cut off.



    If M$ keeps this up, they will be the ones that will truly be doomed...



    they'll probably stop selling windows mobile 7 (refuse to call it what M$ named it) phones shortly after they launch too.
  • Reply 4 of 118
    Didnt knew Microsoft will fall to this level of mediocrity.
  • Reply 5 of 118
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    Is Steve Ballmer really any good as a CEO? Look, if it weren't for the licensing of Windows Ballmer would be in the garbage. He stinks as a CEO.

    This is what you get when you have a bunch of middle aged, out of touch, impacted colon, corner office schmucks in charge of making gadgets for the Justin Beiber generation.

    The only thing Ballmer is worth is that 150 million license of Windows 7.
  • Reply 6 of 118
    ozexigeozexige Posts: 215member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maccherry View Post


    Is Steve Ballmer really any good as a CEO? Look, if it weren't for the licensing of Windows Ballmer would be in the garbage. He stinks as a CEO.

    This is what you get when you have a bunch of middle aged, out of touch, impacted colon, corner office schmucks in charge of making gadgets for the Justin Beiber generation.

    The only thing Ballmer is worth is that 150 million license of Windows 7.



    Now was that really necessary?



    As for Ballmore, I wonder how the MS Retail 'Enterprise' is working out for him
  • Reply 7 of 118
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Oh my Gosh, now they are killing their own kin...

    Things have really gone bad since Bill left.
  • Reply 8 of 118
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    While working on the shift, Microsoft allowed its existing subscribers' data to exist without proper backups, resulting in an inevitable, massive cloud services data loss when its servers failed.



    Wasn't all of the data recovered eventually?
  • Reply 9 of 118
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,548member
    I saw the Kin as an inexpensive precursor of the Winblows Phone 7 devices.



    The fact that the Kin did not sell well tells me that Microsoft should change the user interface because if the face book social crowd did not buy the Kin, they will also not buy the Winblows phone 7 devices.



    I agree that Steve sucks as a CEO, although I think he would make a good COO.

    Ray Ozie also sucks as a visionary. He appears to be a one product man, (Azure) while Microsoft needs to think of many new innovative ways for MS to make money and that's not happening.



    Bill Gates needs to come back to MS as CEO for a few years.

    Perhaps he can forge some partnerships with Apple to help it succeed better in the cloud.

    Perhaps MS can reorganize itself itself like a big startup "a la Apple Inc" to get ideas flowing at Microsoft again.



    The board really needs shake up this company before it starts to falls apart.



    Time will tell.
  • Reply 10 of 118
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schadenfreude



    ...hooked on that feeling.
  • Reply 11 of 118
    ktappektappe Posts: 753member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chintan100 View Post


    Didnt knew Microsoft will fall to this level of mediocrity.



    Calling this "mediocrity" is far too generous. This is the type of incompetence and arrogance for which the term "epic fail" was invented (even clichéd as it is.)
  • Reply 12 of 118
    MS makes money despite Steve Balmer and he is a cofounder, both of which makes it difficult to unseat him as CEO.



    Any decent company (actually the Board) would recognize the failures in SB's type leadership and act accordingly. Without changing course, MS will do very poorly.



    At some point in the not so distant future, MSFT will probably be a good investment; as a short sale.
  • Reply 13 of 118
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    Wasn't all of the data recovered eventually?



    That's not the point. Yes it was but it should never have happened in the first place.



    I'm not convinced Microsoft ever recovered from that debacle to be honest.
  • Reply 14 of 118
    l008coml008com Posts: 163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...KIN was pulled off the market in just 48 days after only selling a reported 500 units.



    500 phones?! Thats unbelievably bad. I'd love to verify that number. One of the girls in the Kin tv ads was really cute. But 500 phones total, over 48 days?? You would think they'd be able to pull off better numbers just based on grandparents buying random junk for their grand kids they don't really want. "i want and iphone and got a kin " type stuff. 500?!?!
  • Reply 15 of 118
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    a well functioning

    msft wold be a good thing



    one day soon some 14 yr pimple faced whiz kid will write some ground breaking code and cripple msft .



    9
  • Reply 16 of 118
    500 phones - is that for real?



    because that is about 10 phones a day.



    whist apple launches a new phone with 1.7 million sales in 3 days.



    my, how the world has changed.



    D.
  • Reply 17 of 118
    strawberrystrawberry Posts: 180member
  • Reply 18 of 118
    I remember right back to the early days of PC computing with my Apple ][ and ][e - getting a piece of software from Microsoft for them always felt like I was getting something really cool, something really premium.



    This is such a distant memory, that I am surprised I even remember the feeling.



    When they get it right, which is becoming less and less often, they still so some really good stuff. Windows 7 resides quite happily on various Mac partitions. It is stable and slick, it interface looks unified - the endless patching, though, continues to let it down.



    I even went out today, and was even - dare I say it - excited about getting the revised Xbox 360 Slim - if only it was built like this from the start. Apart from the legacy power brick, everything about it is very coherent, from the design to the user interface and overall features of the whole 360 franchise.



    The Kin phone should have gone the way of the Courier tablet. Microsoft is just copping such a pounding in the image stakes it's not funny - well it is, kinda



    The Windows Phone 7, or whatever it's called, looks like it is going to flop too. I know they are trying to leverage the 360 on it, but they really should have been making a 360 centric entertainment phone - that would have got a lot of people (iPhone users) interested in it. As it is, Windows Phone 7 looks like it is trying to be a bit of everything to everybody, without really hitting the sweet spot for anybody.





    Like Sony, Microsoft should be leveraging their gaming franchise in the mobile world and tying them very closely together. As a hardware company, which also makes phones, how is it that we are still waiting for a PSP phone after all these years?
  • Reply 19 of 118
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rulebreaker View Post


    whist apple launches a new phone with 1.7 million sales in 3 days.

    my, how the world has changed.



    150+ million Windows 7 licenses, god knows how many copies of Office and revenue and profits way ahead of Apple.



    Things are certainly changing perhaps, but with Microsoft rolling in money with Windows + Office sales and not really making a killing in any other markets one could make an argument that things haven't changed that much yet.
  • Reply 20 of 118
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maciavelli View Post


    Like Sony, Microsoft should be leveraging their gaming franchise in the mobile world and tying them very closely together. As a hardware company, which also makes phones, how is it that we are still waiting for a PSP phone after all these years?



    Sony are getting pretty tight with Google. I'd bet my house that they are looking at bringing Playstation/PSN branded gaming to an Android-based phone.



    I'm not sure they would go so far as to build it into Android though. It might stay a Sony-only add on.



    In any case, Sony are one of the highest quality publishers around so it's going to make some kind of an impact.
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