Microsoft is shuttering its KIN Studio service on January 31, 2011.
Verizon customers are slowly receiving a leaflet to detail the changes. WPCentral has posted several images from the leaflet that show all KIN users will lose the ability to do everything over the air. Zune pass and email will still be available but features allowing the phone to sync to the cloud will be permanently disabled. The full list of changes is:
- Feed Reader will stop working
- Search Near me will stop working
- Posting Photos to social sites will no longer be possible
- Most pictures currently on Kin will only appear at thumbnail resolution
- Posting to Social Networks will no longer work.
- No comments from the loop
- Social network contacts will disappear.
- Loop will stop to work
- Kin Spot will only send to emails.
- Social networks only accessed from web browser.
The removal of said features cripples the platform entirely. Microsoft originally introduced the devices in May and killed them off after only two months. Microsoft said the decision to axe the Kin devices was to “focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7.” The software giant recently re-introduced both KIN devices on cheaper contracts. The Kin ONEm and TWOm, re-branded with the m appendage to their names, are currently available on two-year contracts at $19.99 and $49.99 respectively. The full retail price of the ONEm is $119.99 and the full price of the TWOm is $219.99. One of the early criticisms of both devices was the steep price plans and device costs. Microsoft and Verizon originally introduced both devices in May. The Kin ONE was priced at $49.99 and the TWO at $99.99. Microsoft and Verizon have cut the price of the devices in half to shift the remaining stock during holiday sales.