While the news today that Microsoft has killed its troubled Kin line didn’t come as the craziest of surprises, it’s definitely left a lot of lingering questions about just what happened. Now we may have a little insight into what went wrong — and what might be in store down the road — thanks to a reliable source of ours who’s shared some news on Redmond’s inner turmoil.
Apparently, the troubles started long before the swirling Pink phone rumors (and way before the name Kin was ringing in our ears). According to our source, the birth of these devices began with a decision at Microsoft to create a platform agnostic, cloud-centric featurephone. A featurephone that could be had at a relatively low cost, and sold to a burgeoning market of teens and young adults who had little need for a BlackBerry-level device (or pricing). The first step in the project was acquiring Danger to leverage the work it had done with the Sidekick platform, and aligning with Verizon as a launch partner who could offer attractive pricing plans for the devices to a big pool… and here’s where the trouble begins.