Microsoft writes down $240m on Kin debacle


14 Responses to “Microsoft writes down $240m on Kin debacle”

  1. Sleepybat says:

    Its crazy, they have some amazing technology in the works but that tech never sees the light of day because of all the red tap.

    Kin was never going to be successful, it was a bad idea from the start. I fail to understand how that got the green light when they cancelled Courier, which looked fantastic.

  2. Lester says:

    When I read about MS infighting the phrase “Dance, dance my pretties” comes to mind. Why is that?

  3. GeekMan says:

    According to the Daily Beast, in-fighting among the brass now threatens CEO Steve Ballmer himself.

    God, because it would be so bad for Microsoft, and indeed the entire technology industry ecosystem if they canned him.

    *crosses fingers*

  4. jramboz says:

    Wait… you’re telling me that there are still phones using Windows Mobile?

    • whenderson says:

      Indeed there are. There’s actually a pretty big community built up around WinMo 6.5. Third-party ROMs are pretty popular.

      Even if you don’t want to flash a different ROM onto the phone, you can still install pretty much any software you feel like installing on the stock ROM, from any source. Even on AT&T, which is pretty shocking, considering how they treat their Android devices.

      Of course, the “install any software you want” part won’t apply to Windows Phone 7. I’m not sure what they’re thinking there. “Yeah, let’s get rid of our only competitive advantage! Great idea!”


  5. daneyul says:

    Well, there was also the “data” charge Verizon was insisting on, which put the total, minimum monthly charge on the phone at $70.00.

    Since it’s a teenager-focused device, not capable of games and not a true smart phone, the day the data plan requirement was announced pretty much every tech blog declared the Kin dead on arrival. Which was evidently correct.

  6. John Napsterista says:

    Microsoft today is about where GM was in, oh, let’s say, 1971.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Worst adverts ever. I’d blame the marketing executive who thought it was a good idea to use creepy sexual predator ads on a product whose name is loosely associated with hick inbreeding.

  8. TomDArch says:

    Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice/conspiracy that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” What I’m about to say violates this essential axiom – and I’m not saying that MS doesn’t do some stunningly stupid stuff or release really lousy products – clearly, it does.

    For years, Robert X Crigley has been saying that MS intentionally looses money at times to manage it’s revenue performance vis a vis analyst projections. It could be that this is an example of this technique (better than whatever Dell was doing that got itself fined), or this could be a very real loss that was set up by a culture that had for years been launching projects that were designed to be loosers.

  9. ackpht says:

    IBM, 1990s.

    When a company is gets big enough, the management structure takes on a life of its own, and becomes populated by weasels whose aim is to accumulate power at any cost. They have huge egos, but they don’t have the vision of the people who built the company. They don’t know how to run a business- they just know whose *ss to kiss, and they will destroy whatever is necessary to prevent a rival or an enemy from looking good.

  10. dculberson says:

    It always amazes me to no end just how dumb some supposedly smart companies can be. Why the hell would you sabotage a $750mm investment over ego or even threat to another product? Idiots.

    It is clear that something odd was happening, since they killed it entirely too quickly to really see if it was going to succeed. Almost a billion dollars and untold human resources should not be flushed after a 48 day test period. There’s no way you can see if sales are sufficient in that span of time.

    • loonquawl says:

      The company may act smart, or dumb, just like Forrest Gump put it. The individual who throttled the product will no doubt have done it in a way that lets him seem either totally unconnected to the fuckup and very connected to some other, viable program, or as the sage who had the guts to pull out in time. Whether that hurt the company more than it would have if they continued on the path, that is to be discussed to no end.

  11. Jonathan Badger says:

    In San Diego, Microsoft has one of its new “Microsoft Stores” (a pretty amusing example of Apple envy right down to the copied decor), and they have Kin phones prominently displayed. Don’t know if they are actually moving any product.

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