“Microsoft’s engineers and executives spent two years creating a new line of smartphones with playful names that sounded like creatures straight out of ‘The Cat in the Hat’ — Kin One and Kin Two,” Ashlee Vance reports for The New York Times. “Stylish designs, an emphasis on flashy social-networking features and an all-out marketing blitz were meant to prove that Microsoft could build the right product at the right time for the finickiest customers — gossiping youngsters with gadget skills.”
“But last week, less than two months after the Kins arrived in stores, Microsoft said it would kill the products,” Vance reports. “The Kins’ flop adds to a long list of products — from watches to music players — that have plagued Microsoft’s consumer division, while its business group has suffered as well through less-than-successful offerings like Windows Vista and Windows for tablet computers.”
Vance reports, “In particular, the Kin debacle is a reflection of Microsoft’s struggle to deliver what the younger generation of technology-obsessed consumers wants. From hand-held products to business software, Microsoft seems behind the times… The list of Microsoft’s consumer product slip-ups grows each year. Its line of intelligent watches — come and gone — often ends up as the butt of jokes, as do its tablet PC software products, the poor-selling Windows Vista operating system and the ignored Zune music player. The company also canceled its Courier tablet PC project shortly after the Apple iPad tablet went into stores.
Full article here.