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Why Did Microsoft Dump Kin?

Microsoft has unceremoniously killed Kin, its range of smartphones/feature phones that was aiming to recapture the heart and mind of a younger audience, but never really achieved to reach its goal.

The company cut the price of the Kin One and Kin Two earlier this week but this was too little too late and the whole project was zapped only two months after it was launched making it the Microsoft product with the shortest lifespan.

Many have come up with reasons as to why Microsoft killed Kin. Many have said that the phones were inferior to the competition, even at this price level. Rivals, like the entry level Blackberry smartphoes and the Nokia E72 would give the Kin a run for its money.

But then, as Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet (opens in new tab) pointed out, Microsoft apparently spent thousands of man hours researching the audience and claim to have interviewed 50,000 people. So it could well be another case of doing the wrong things right.

But it is perhaps Engadget which provided the clearest indication as to what caused the failure of Kin. Infighting & changes in strategy that caused frustration within Microsoft. Engadget (opens in new tab) notes that the departure of J.Allard & Robbie Bach, two senior Microsoft executives, as well as the cancellation of Courier, the tablet device project might be loosely linked with the death of Kin.

We'll leave Ian Douglas (opens in new tab) at The telegraph with the last words. He says that Microsoft "shows off its spine" by killing the Kin phone which is not entirely untrue. But he forget to mention that the many months lost because of diverted resources and decision-taking could have brought forward the release date of Windows Phone 7 by a whole year.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.