FIGHT: Kin Team & Windows Phone 7 Team Square Off

It looks like the Microsoft Kin may have been doomed before it was ever released, not because of terrible hardware/software (although that’s a realistic argument), but instead because of internal communication meltdowns that positioned the Kin in the middle of nowhere. Let me explain.

Microsoft had Windows Mobile. Microsoft was planning Windows Phone 7. The Kin was originally supposed to be Windows Mobile but they pushed planning to a Windows Phone 7 device for obvious reasons. But the WP7 team clearly couldn’t get the platform ready in time. To avoid dissolvement, the Kin team went on anyways, leveraging several hundred employees to build the Kin One and Kin Two despite knowing their creations would soon be extinct thanks to the new OS.

Check out the anonymous exchange of heated words on the Mini Microsoft Blog:

In May 2009, [Windows Phone engineering head Terry] Myerson, decided to kill [Kin] because it was competing with his own baby, WP7. Since WP7 was not ready (still today is by far ready!) the exec told him KIN would continue. As retaliation, he killed the support of his team to KIN project. Guess what? KIN team had to take over a lot of base code postponing all the value added apps+services. Now you get why there is lack of apps on KIN. Who will win in medium/long term? Mr Myerson obviously, that’s why I decide to leave.

fightAnd the retaliation from someone whom is obviously a co-worker:

The previous poster conveniently neglects the fact that Kin’s original plans were unrealistic – they were going to release a WP7 based device before WP7 was complete. It ignores the fact that the core WP7 team needed to focus on shipping a WP7 phone and that supporting a different additional hardware platform runs counter to that…

Had KIN management had any accountability, they would have built on top of the WP7 platform instead of grabbing several hundred people to do a one-off and then whining about the lack of support for an off platform device…

Of course, the fact that for the 1st two years the Kin plan was NOT to provide a competing application platform seems to have gone unnoticed in your little post.

The beauty of Kin is indeed the online services, which should translate well to WP7 when the time comes. Everything else is a flaming turd. This is one of those cases where MCB should have gotten all of its wood behind one arrow. Instead, management spent millions on Danger and defocused the core teams on sideshow oddities such as Kin….

Just as soon as I cooked some popcorn, the bickering stopped, but that was some pretty interesting insight.

[Via ZDNet]


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