The Life and Death of Kin
Kin 1 and Kin 2 more known as Pebble and Stone due to their form-factor were delivered to the market just 48 days ago, proclaiming that Microsoft is not going to surrender and is determined to have its piece of the smartphone market pie. To tell the truth, both Kins were more of a feature phones which is quite predictable taking into account they both were the result of Microsoft’s acquisition of Danger. Danger was a Java based platform pioneering messaging-oriented phones targeted at younger people. After buying the company Microsoft shifted the product to Windows CE kernel, giving up an already functional and successful Java-based system.
However profitable and useful could that activity be in the future, it severely hurt other Microsoft activities, unveiling or supporting at that time. For example, great amounts of Microsoft subscribers’ personal data were kept in the cloud without proper back-ups. So when its servers failed, the loss was irreparable. But Kin itself was not a piece of art. It lacked almost all features that users got used to having in a smartphone such as calendar sync, instant messages, or even any email accounts other than Microsoft's own. Moreover, even a really unsuccessful gadget can be promoted providing a smart marketing policy is applied. But Microsoft failed one more time when choosing a carrier for the new device. Once cheap, youth-oriented platform, which previously ran on T-Mobile and shared cut rate plans specifically targeting the audience, was shifted to the Verizon Wireless network. The carrier which was not particularly interested in the platform success, tried to get as much profit as possible and charged users $70 per month for voice and data service. No wonder, there were no crowds of young people eager to buy the fabulous gadget. To save the situation Microsoft tried to sell users a Zune Pass music subscription just for another $15 per month. Unsurprisingly that had no effect.
Now, following 2 years of iphone application development and just 48 days of sales, Microsoft has terminated Kin phones due to a lack of interest from consumers.