Microsoft knew the Kin was rubbish and released it anyway

Microsoft knew the Kin was rubbish and released it anywayMicrosoft reckons it's all about “devices and services” these days, pointing to the Surface tablet as the first of a new wave of mobile gadgets that will firmly establish the company as a major hardware player in the years to come.

Only the Surface wasn't the first, was it? That honour – for want of a better word – goes to the truly abysmal Kin smartphone, which Microsoft released back in 2010 knowing full well from a series of focus groups just how bad it was.

In total Microsoft is said to have spent in the region of $1bn on developing the Kin One and its big brother the Kin Two, pitching them at the 15-30 market as a couple of hip low-end feature phones designed for the social networking crowd.

Unfortunately, they just weren't any good, and lasted just 48 days on the shelves before someone ended the misery and removed them from the public consciousness for good.

That all happened around April 2010, and yet a series of focus group videos newly surfaced by Wired shows the Kin's shortcomings were abundantly clear as far back as December 2009, had Microsoft been willing to heed the warning signs.

From a laggy touch UI and sluggish overall performance to a pedestrian camera launch and a near-unusable phone dialler, user after user reported serious issues with even the most basic of operations.

Whether Microsoft ever did get around to improving things by the time the Kin One and Kin Two were officially announced isn't certain, but a prohibitively high price for what was ultimately a first-time feature phone in a land of smartphones meant it ultimately didn't matter: the Kin was pretty much dead on arrival.

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3 comments

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 20, 2012 at 11:52

I like odd and ugly, but I have to admit: that thing was too much of both even for me.

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 20, 2012 at 15:50

I like odd and ugly, but I have to admit: that thing was too much of both even for me.
I don't mind the looks, tbh.

sarek2k  Nov. 22, 2012 at 18:37

should have an F before the 'ing and ugly :D

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