This week Microsoft announced that they were discontinuing their Kin product line. The Kin phones are their new social-oriented devices that were developed by their Danger subsidiary who also designed the Sidekick family for T-Mobile. (On a side note, the Sidekick was discontinued this week too. Coincidence?) The Kin was the first all new phone design out of Microsoft in recent years, and they are currently working on another new platform, Windows Mobile Phone 7 (WMP7).
The Kin makes an interesting case study; it was developed by a team with a proven track record of releasing successful Sidekick phones. One would have expected the successes to translate to the Kin, but unfortunately that is not the case. The phones suffered from an overly expensive pricing model and a number of questionable design decisions. You would think that Danger’s experienced phone designers would know better, and I worry that the same myopia could lead to a WMP7 failure. Continue reading The demise of Kin – What does it mean for Windows Phone 7?