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Kin May Outshine Bob as Microsoft's Biggest Dud

Microsoft cut its losses quickly with the Kin, even though it never should have been hatched in the first place. Not that it's a big shock that Kin failed or Microsoft had much choice in the decision to kill it. It just seemed that after the lack of logic in rolling it out in the first place, that Microsoft might be reticent to concede defeat so rapidly.

Kin, known internally at Microsoft as Pink, of course was borne of Microsoft's acquisition of Danger, maker of the Sidekick, which was marketed by T-Mobile until it yesterday pulled the plug on it as well, according to CNET's Ina Fried. Even though Kin was destined to be a dud, Andrew Brust blogged some interesting theories on why Microsoft had to launch it and let it fail. Check out his top 10 reasons why Microsoft may have launched Kin anyway. Brust notes:

Kin had to be brought to market, and had to fail, in order to topple [corporate VP Roz] Ho from her position and consolidate power in the WP7 [Windows Phone 7] team.

When I saw the Webcast of the Kin's launch in April, I couldn't help but cringe. It came after Microsoft finally had a credible story with Windows Phone 7, even if it is still has an uphill battle to cut into the comfortable lead maintained by Apple with the iPhone and Google with its Android platform.

But it would be foolish to rule Microsoft out of the mobile enterprise race, yet. But when Microsoft launched Kin, it was evident it had no legs, and moreover it was a clear distraction from its Windows Phone 7 story.

The Kin, if it is remembered at all, may challenge Microsoft's Bob as the company's biggest dud ever. For those who remember Bob, launched 15 years ago to make Windows 95 easier to use, it recently made Time magazine's list of 50 worst inventions ever.

Now that's a tough act to follow.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on July 02, 2010 at 11:59 AM


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