Microsoft Kin is dead

We're learning this afternoon that Microsoft's Kin line, for all practical purposes, is riding off into the sunset just a few short weeks after its release. Sources close to Microsoft tell us that Andy Lees has rolled Kin into the Windows Phone 7 team and has canceled the existing product's launch later this year in Europe on news that sales weren't as strong as expected. Speaking of sales, Verizon's already-launched Kin One and Kin Two are soldiering on for the time being, but for how long is anyone's guess. Here's Microsoft's official statement:

"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. 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 U.S. to sell current KIN phones."

Interestingly, CNET is reporting that Roz Ho -- the exec who masterminded Kin under the codename "Pink" following Microsoft's acquisition of Danger -- will "oversee" her team's move over to Windows Phone 7 before taking a to-be-determined role elsewhere in the company. For what it's worth, we didn't think much of the Kin when we reviewed it -- to be fair, we're not the product's target demographic, but it certainly seems as though the phones got no love from the tweens, teens, and twentysomethings it sought to win over, either. It's hard to say how the Kin's untimely (or is it timely?) death ties into Robbie Bach and J Allard's departure, but since Lees has his hands more closely wrapped around this project than he had in the past, it stands to reason that there's a link there. After all, just how bad do sales have to be to kill a project mere weeks into its retail launch? And for NVIDIA, what does it mean that they've yet to release even a single blockbuster, wildly successful Tegra device?

Update: What killed the Kin?