Microsoft Kin

Microsoft axes Courier-creating Pioneer Studios

Microsoft axes Courier-creating Pioneer Studios

Microsoft has shuttered its Pioneer Studios consumer electronics operation, a skunkworks project the company had hoped would enable it to develop innovative technologies and products. Responsible for the Microsoft Courier concept, the KIN phones and various chunks of Windows Phone 7, Xbox and Zune, CNET reports, Pioneer Studios had been led my ex-Entertainment and Device CTO J Allard, who left the company last year.

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KIN Studio shutting down as Verizon pulls plug in January 2011

KIN Studio shutting down as Verizon pulls plug in January 2011

Microsoft's KIN handsets may have scored a reprieve of sorts at Verizon last month, but it seems the carrier is still on course to shut down most of what made the tweens' smartphones special. According to WPCentral, as of January 31 2011 the KIN Studio will close permanently; that means all of the OTA functionality KIN users have been enjoying - such as posting photos to social networks, using the Feed Reader and all the Loop sharing support - will cease to function.

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Microsoft KIN gets second chance on Verizon

Microsoft KIN gets second chance on Verizon

Microsoft's KIN was arguably scuppered by Verizon's insistence on pairing the starter-smartphone with a mandatory full-price data plan; customers weren't convinced, and the KIN ONE and KIN TWO were pulled from shelves in July. Now, it seems, Verizon is giving the KIN a second chance; according to a device overview from the carrier leaked to PPCGeeks, both handsets will return sometime this quarter.

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KIN cost Microsoft over $240m and ate up Xbox profits

KIN cost Microsoft over $240m and ate up Xbox profits

Decent financial performance aside, there was one thorn in Microsoft's paw during the company's results call and that was the KIN write-off.  With the handsets themselves ousted from Verizon stores and sales frozen, all that was left was to figure out how much of the company's cash had been wasted overall.  Without development costs, Microsoft admitted, they'd spent $240m on the project.

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Verizon’s unsold KIN being returned today; websales frozen

Verizon’s unsold KIN being returned today; websales frozen

If you were still harboring desires for a Microsoft KIN of your own, act fast.  According to two sources speaking to WMExperts, Verizon are freezing sales and sending back all remaining stock today, Sunday July 18th.  Having axed the feature-phone project - targeted at a "Generation Upload" teen market that didn't seem particularly inclined to either give up their regular "adult" smartphones or stomach overpriced data packages - it now looks like Microsoft are gathering up the unwanted remnants.

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Kin fallout continues: only 503 sold tips insider, red faces all round at Microsoft

Kin fallout continues: only 503 sold tips insider, red faces all round at Microsoft

In the aftermath of Kin's demise, details of the mis-management and general botched effort continue to seep out of Microsoft.  Business Insider quotes an anonymous Microsoft employee who says there's "embarrassment all over campus from the rank and file about the Kin announcement" while John Gruber has heard that Verizon sold a grand total of 503 Kin handsets; that fits in with previously rumored figures, though Microsoft still insist they shipped at least twice that amount.

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The Daily Slash: July 2nd 2010

The Daily Slash: July 2nd 2010

By now, you're probably already well into your fourth of July celebration. If not, you're already behind the curve, so start celebrating your long weekend! Most of you probably don't have work on Monday, so go ahead and take the time to relax -- you deserve it. We'll try and help you out tonight, in this edition of The Daily Slash. First up, in the Best of R3 Media, we've got some rumors about Android 2.2 and the original Droid, ColorWare wants to paint your new Xbox 360, and Verizon's been forced to fork out $21 million. And then in the Dredge 'Net, we've got a countertop that'll teach you things, a digital burial ground for the KIN, and some new information about Google Music.

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