Europeans looking forward to Microsoft’s Kin smart phones will be sad for reading this news bit (although I suspect not many were looking forward to the Kin’s European release).

And the sad news is that on Wednesday, Microsoft announced that they are scrapping the Kin project. The reason is said to be worse than expected sales, although neither Microsoft or Verizon is giving out any figures. Verizon is apparently continuing to sell the existing devices though, a representative was quoted saying:

We don’t share sales data or marketing strategies but the device remains an important part of our portfolio

The existing Kin-team will be moved into the Windows Phone 7 team at Microsoft. A Microsoft rep confirmed for CNET:

Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones

Just the other day the blogosphere was buzzing with the rumor that the Kin’s were getting an update around mid-summer. What’s happening to this, if anything, has still to be disclosed.

I personally thought the Kin was a really odd creature and didn’t really fit into Microsoft’s portfolio of products. The execution of the idea behind it was just off, and Microsoft hasn’t been known to be hip with the youngsters, so aiming the device at the tweener generation seemed doomed.

That combined with the ridiculous data plan price that Verizon took was just doomed to fail. It could probably have sold a lot better, but the price would had to been slashed considerably, and the data plan would had to have been reduced to fixed rate and silly low money.

This would basically had made it a loss affair, bleeding money, but undercutting the market would probably have been the only way for it to catch on.

So while we mourn Kin (and mostly that it was introduced at all – because of all the confusion that came with it!), let’s wish the Kin-team a smooth integration into the WP7 team, and let’s hope they can share some of the good ideas while helping expedite development – so that we get to see a release of Windows Phone 7 in October as we are all hoping for!

For more info see coverage at CNET.
And Engadget’s version.

Kin is dead – Long live Windows Phone 7
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