Microsoft puts down the Kin

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We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 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.

These words from Microsoft serve as the epitaph for the Kin series of socially-oriented handsets and their ecosystem. It’s been less than two months since the handsets and service were announced, and rumors of incredibly low sales had us questioning the lifespan of these little guys not long after. Add to that the weird interface and inexplicable pricing, and it’s clear in retrospect that the Kins never had much of a chance. In fact, we heard the project was canceled before it was even officially announced.

My take on it is: it was a fork of the new mobile OS team plagued by delays and leaks, which was given one chance to justify itself. There was probably a pre-existing arrangement: launch by X date, sell X handsets, or get rolled up. And I get the feeling some of the team are relieved to have this thing off their backs.

I’m actually glad to see those guys merged with WP7; I think the new OS has promise — not to say a chance in hell of surviving come October. The addition of some Kin stuff (the browser timeline was actually really cool) could sweeten the deal, though.

RIP, Kin. You were… well, you were.

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