Earlier this year Microsoft decided it was time to take over the world (again) with the release of a new youth-orientated, social media savvy mobile handset, the Kin. The device – a mere seven weeks after its launch – has now been canned and will not launch in the UK in September (under Vodafone) as planned. The mobile phone billed for a “Social Generation” seemingly failed to generate any friend requests.
The reason for its sudden and sharp demise appears to lie in an overriding device infrastructure that simply didn’t offer what it suggested on the tin. “They completely misunderstood the marketplace. Every other phone out there has more features than the Kin,” said one commentator.
However while the Kin is resigned to landfill there is still one small matter to clear up. And that is a 24-year-old girl called Rosa. Rosa was sent on a mission by the brand to meet all her Facebook friends in person, from celebs to stalkers – which on the face of it is a perfectly pitched indie rom-com drama in the making. The accompanying Facebook page netted 216,000 fans keen to follow her journey.
Microsoft is now left with a very odd thing indeed. A community without a brand, a social family without any next of Kin, and a brand ambassador lugging her suitcase back home.