In one simple, but brave move Microsoft has shown signs of being back on track with their mobile strategy. By killing the Kin they can now concentrate on getting one focused mobile platform to market. If we look to Apple it is clear that one platform, albeit in a couple of sizes, does fit all, and that keeping things simple and focused works. It’s what developers want and after all, developer tools and relationships is one thing that Microsoft has done so well over the years, both with PC and XBox. One mobile platform lets Microsoft concentrate on extending those relationships.
Even though Microsoft has lost ground they remain very well placed for mobile success. They can leverage links with Windows desktop, office and Xbox markets – bridging those worlds like nobody else can deliver a user experience that exceeds those available from Apple and Google. By linking the business elements of office, outlook and exchange, the social aspects of Xbox Live and cloud computing focus of Kin they have the opportunity to leapfrog other platforms and also reach a wide consumer base. We have already seen glimpses of what is possible when you link services like Outlook, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter on Android, especially with HTC Sense, but the promise of this at the heart of the mobile platform which Microsoft Hubs promises to deliver so much more.
Developing the Kin has been an important learning exercise for Microsoft, it has taught them a lot about the platform, product design and delivering something that the market not only wants but desires. They have also had the opportunity to learn from the mistakes other platforms are making. With rumours of Windows Phone 7 handsets in October, it’s not long now to find out whether Microsoft has learnt enough to release something special. Watch this space.