Microsoft calls time on Kin

Just weeks after it made its debut in North America, Microsoft has announced that it has pulled the plug on its social-media orientated Kin mobile handset, meaning the European launch planned for later this year will not now happen.

All staff previously assigned to Kin development will not be shifted onto Windows Phone 7 duties, according to CNET.

We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship Kin in Europe this fall as planned,” a statement confirmed.

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 US to sell current Kin phones.”

As a result, question marks now hang over the proposed software updates scheduled for the platform this summer. Handsets can now be grabbed for as little as half price from US carrier Verizon. Total sales of the handsets are though to number significantly below” 10,000.

Big European question marks also hang over Microsoft’s MP3 device Zune, which continues to struggle to find traction in the US market.

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