Death of Kin Not a Good Sign for Windows 7

Kin One and Kin Two were introduced in April and buried in June. It was a shock for me to hear that the project was dead. Someone told me yesterday — and this is complete hearsay — that Verizon’s biggest Kin sales day saw 50 units go out the door. Where or not it’s true, clearly sales were dismal. I liked the Kin One and what Kin was trying to accomplish: delivering an affordable, high functioning feature phone to market for younger, social-mobile users. I also thought the idea of Kin Studio was great. This morning there’s lots of discussion and many postmortems making the rounds. We now get the US Magazine version of what went wrong and who’s to blame at Microsoft and/or Verizon: The gist of these posts is that there’s an internal struggle, bureaucratic and cultural problems swirling around mobile at Microsoft. In addition, technical indecision and restarts plagued, delayed and ultimately wrecked the project. But maybe it was the data plan costs or Verizon’s almost total focus on Android (from a marketing standpoint) that are also part of the story. Regardless, none of this is a good sign for the upcoming Windows Mobile 7 launch. The company needs to be firing on all cylinders for success. Windows will have a disadvantage out of the gate in terms of awareness, brand and apps. It needs to be fantastic to sell vs. iPhone, Android and RIM. I’m fearful that what happened to Kin and all the internal politics being discussed in the cited posts are harbingers of disaster.