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Kin Studio shutters Jan. 31, Verizon offers free phone swaps

updated 04:00 pm EST, Sat December 11, 2010

Microsoft to close Kin Studio January 31

A leak on Saturday has signalled that Microsoft is backing away more permanently from the Kin One and Two. The platform's Kin Studio online backup and sharing service will shut down January 31, less than a year after it went live, and will take away nearly all the features unique to the two phones. While e-mail, web browsing and Zune Pass streaming over Wi-Fi will still work, WPCentral's copy of a memo has the home screen social network updates (Kin Loop), direct Facebook updates, Facebook media sharing and the RSS reader will stop working.

The change will go so far as to disable over-the-air updates and Zune Pass support over 3G, requiring that users be close to their computer for features that would previously have worked over cellular.

As compensation, Verizon is promising a free 3G-capable phone of any kind to existing Kin owners, including smartphones like the HTC, Motorola and Samsung lines as well as any BlackBerry. Only modems, tablets and any 4G hardware are off-limits, Verizon said. The deal will run for two months after Kin Studio shuts down, on March 31, and could potentially let users trade up to a Verizon iPhone given the widely expected first quarter 2011 Apple launch.

The end to the Studio is an at least partial second end to the Kin phones. Both were relaunched as basic phones last month and wouldn't have access to Kin Studio without a data plan regardless, but the end to the major online component marks the finish to Microsoft's original ambitions by denying the possibility of most smartphone-level features. Much of the initial failure was attributed to the requirement of a minimum $70 smartphone plan for a device targeted at teens. iInfighting-related shipping delays pushed the pricing to that level when attempts to sabotage the Kin in favor of Windows Phone killed off a deal with Verizon that would have dropped the rate pricing much lower.

Microsoft has been placing all of its current hope for a mobile revival on Windows Phone 7, which has been more successful but has had its sales results kept secret in what may be an additional sign of difficulties.

by MacNN Staff



  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What the...?

    Are they going to officially start marketing the Kin ONEm and TWOm as paperweights, or something? If they are canning this, then WHY did they bother to start selling those phones again just three weeks ago?

    Do any of the decision makers at Microsoft have two brain cells to rub together? I'm seriously doubting it at this point.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    who will tell wrenchy?

    your comment

  1. garmonbosia

    Joined: Dec 1969


    wrenchy's busy

    packing up his Kins for exchange.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let's all salute Major FAIL...

    The handful of consumers that bought the Kin(s) should file a class action suit. It's rather sad that a device could be that bad. If something like this had happened to some Apple device, the media would have had a field day and likely the stock would be pounded. For Microsoft it's as if nothing has happened at all.

  1. tonton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good tidings?

    Good tidings we bring, to you and your KinĀ®. Good tidings for Christmas and a happy New Year!

  1. facebook_Geir

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2010


    This is typical

    This is typical of microsoft. There are no large companies that pulls the plug faster than Microsoft.

    Where did playforsure drm go?
    Where did the original xbox go? The moment the 360 was out, the original xbox owners were left in the cold. While there are still launched ps2-titles.

    Sony supports their stuff until the younger generation doesn't even know what the products were. The cassette Walkman was just cancelled, they just stopped producing floppy discs. They allow for both Memorystick and SD in most of their products now, but memorystick will probably live on until I'm old. You want minidiscs for your 1992 mini disc player? Still for sale. Heck, I even think they still sell the MZ-RH1 mini disc player.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Anyone who bought a KIN (and has any brains left) should file a class action suit already.

    Then again, anyone who bought a KIN might not have any brains left.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    don't forget Sidekick

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