Microsoft writes down $240m on Kin debacle

Microsoft sank at least a quarter of a billion dollars into the Kin, its recently canceled cellphone. This is on top of its $500m acquisition of Danger, absorbed in order to develop it. Notwithstanding Kin's shortcomings as a product, the most entertaining aspect of the cock-up is that it appears to be the result of ego battles in Redmond: rumor has it that Kin was throttled in its billion-dollar crib by an executive who saw it as a threat to Windows Mobile. According to the Daily Beast, in-fighting among the brass now threatens CEO Steve Ballmer himself.