Microsoft KIN's Wild Ride: Announced in April, Pulled in June, Revived in November, Service Shutdown Next Month

Microsoft’s self-branded KIN phones has been on a ride all year. It was announced in April, pulled out of the market in June, and then re-released with slightly different names (ONEm and TWOm) in November. It looks like the KIN phones will be shut down for good at the end of next month (January 2011).

Verizon: KIN Studio is closing January 31. Sorry. Here’s a new phone? (wpcentral)

Kin Studio closing January 31st, Verizon offers free phones to affected customers (Engadget)

The online KIN Studio service is so closely tied to the phones’ opereation, that a KIN phone provides fewer features than a feature phone without it.

Verizon is offering KIN owners the option of getting a free “3G phone of your choice” to replace the KIN. The offer for a free replacement phone is good until March 31, 2011. There is an outside chance that both Windows Phone 7 based phones as well as a CDMA iPhone will be available through Verizon by then. It should be interesting to see what KIN owners decide to switch to.