The cell phone community has lost two of its kin rather quickly the past week. The Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two were not even two months old before Microsoft decided to pull the plug and discontinue them. The Kin One and Kin Two were social media mobile phones aimed at the younger generation of people in their teens and twenties, focused on keeping people in the “Loop.” The Loop consisted of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Windows Live, and other web feed updates. There is also Kin Studio, a cloud service for uploading pictures, video, and text off from the phone onto the internet. All of these things sound great, don’t they? Not really.. which is why sales were lacking and why Microsoft decided to discontinue the project.
The “Loop” is nothing special as any other smartphone would also have the ability to stay connected too. The Kin Studio can cause problems, as Microsoft has already messed up once during the major SideKick data loss fiasco not long ago. The phones are small and lacking in technical features and power. With all this, you would think maybe it’d be worth it if it was cheaper than the cost of a plan for a regular smartphone, but it actually costs the same. So you’re paying the same amount for less.. not good.
The biggest problem is that this was just too little, too late. If Microsoft had been able to get the Kin project out there long before the iPhone, Android, or Blackberry devices, maybe it would have succeeded. If someone tried to build a new Facebook right now, they’d also be in trouble. The market has just already been taken over for too long, and the competing product would need years of development in order to catch up to the existing competition. You want to keep your product fresh, up to date, and ahead of the competition, and that was where Microsoft went wrong.