Posted by: hagengreen | June 30, 2010

KIN is killed, ripples follow

The KIN was Microsoft’s attempt to appeal to the tween crowd with a not-really feature phone. The abysmal sales don’t surprise me too much given the phone came up short in many areas, such as a lack of any reasonable app story, as well as too high of costs. Plus it just couldn’t compete with the other Verizon phones such as their Android offerings.

After reading this Engadget post, I’ve learned a few new things that I didn’t know before. Keep in mind I work at this company!

– KIN ran 18 months late due to a Senior VP’s call to replace the Danger-based operating system with that of Windows CE. This essentially caused the team to completely reset its schedule and plans.

– Verizon pulled back its “bargain-basement” pricing deal for KIN after Microsoft delivered the phone much later than expected.

– Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows business, is attempting to bring the mobile teams into the larger Windows organization for aligning on a cloud and mobile-centric Windows 8.

Wow, that’s a lot of news to come down the pipe all at once. The last one in particular is a shocker for me. I can’t say I saw it coming.

As the post says, there have been several shakeups lately. And for good, in my opinion. Change needs to happen from the top, and that’s what’s going on. There are so many amazingly innovative minds at Microsoft. It’s a matter of aligning on the right vision, taking big risks, and making sure we’re putting the customer first. Then execute, execute, execute. Let those great minds get to work and do what they do best. Then market it smartly – something Microsoft historically hasn’t proven it can do from a consumer perspective. If we’re going to do something, we ought to do it 110% and be doubly-sure it’s going to ring the right bells. Not just on the software side, but from the perspective of our potential customers.

Despite the sad news on the KIN, I’m still a very strong believer that Windows Phone 7 will be a solid contender in your local wireless store and find its way into your pocket. Sales will be strong, which I personally predict we’ll carve out a Bing-like market share over the first 4 months. Apple and Google better be careful not to make a mistake. Well, too late for that. And yes, iPhone isn’t anywhere near perfect, but somehow people are suckers to that device. I don’t get it. Must be all those Apple fanboys. Now let’s get these Windows Phones out there!

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