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Microsoft Kills Kin, Dirty Laundry Gets Aired

Microsoft Kills Kin, Dirty Laundry Gets Aired

After Microsoft kills Kin, an unprecedented number of Microsofties come out of the woodwork to air their grievances.

First came the Engadget stories, with sources from Microsoft which broke how office politics killed the Kin mobile phone project.

Now we're seeing a rash of comments on the Mini-Microsoft blog (written by an anonymous Microsoft employee) from disgruntled employees bringing more of the back story to light.

All I can say as a former Windows Mobile employee who is now working for a competitor in the phone space is that this is good news for the rest of us. [...] Personally I quit because of the frustrating management and autocratic decision style of Terry Myerson and Andrew Lees. The only exec in the team myself and other folks respcted was Tom Gibbons who is now sidelined. Lees and Myerson don't know consumer products or phones. Gibbons at least knows consumer product development. We often talk about how Andrew Lees still has a job but Microsoft's loss is a gain for the rest of us.

And now Kin is killed *after* it has shipped in June 2010. You can bet Andy was involved in the development of Kin, the partnership agreements with the OEM, Verizon and most importantly the "ship it" approvals all along the way. And Microsoft discovers its a bad idea after it blows up in the broad market. Absolutely no thanks to any pro-active decision making on Andy's part.

Now there is spin that Andy killed kin to put all the wood behind Windows Phone 7. Er, the guy was in charge for two years of Kin development. He could have made this decision far earlier.

Similarly Windows Phone 7 has two years of development under his watch. Based on his past performance, 99% chance this is also going to be a total catastrophe. It further doesn't help that much of the Windows Phone 7 leadership team was kicked out of Windows when they screwed up Vista.

Ouch. Even more enlightening is the comment left by a Danger employee who reveals the real story behind the mismanagement of the buy-out by Microsoft and how a great company with a great product got soundly trashed.

Business Insider has even more sources talking about the culture of mis-management inside the Microsoft Kin project.

I wonder why in the wake of the Kin debacle everyone is blaming Lees, Ho and Myerson while Matt Bencke is being let off the hook. He was the one who approved the flawed business model that depended on the operators charging MORE for a Pink plan than an unlimited plan. He was the one who approved the business projections based on this fictitious assumption. He is the one who used those projections to get the Danger deal through. He is the one who sold deal to Verizon and Vodafone that Microsoft would be unable to deliver. He was the one who pushed for important features to be cut so a team could be put to work on the "international expansion" that never arrived.

To top incompetence with lack of integrity, he is the kind of person who would ask someone on his team to pay for a $1000+ Ferragamo coat (after Bencke left his on a plane) with the corporate card and expense it.

Microsoft should have never rehired him after he left the first time. There is a reason that neither his former manager nor his former skip wanted him back.

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