Microsoft today acted on its promise to shut down Kin Studio. As of 3AM Eastern, Kin One and Two owners can't post photos to the Studio, backup their devices, check the Kin Loop or post content directly to Facebook. Core Internet features will still work over Wi-Fi, but Zune Pass streaming and over-the-air firmware updates won't work over 3G.
The return program is still in effect and should theoretically let Kin owners swap out for any 3G smartphone. It could lead to the roughly 8,810 Kin users having a free path to an iPhone 4 if they hadn't swapped out ahead of time. Verizon's deal should last until March 31.
A shutdown marks an effective end to the Kin as a platform, since it now behaves more like a basic feature phone. Kin Studio was to have been a core selling point for the lineup but also helped contribute to the $70 minimum plan that steered most users to more capable Android and BlackBerry phones.
Microsoft has hinted that some of the features of Kin Studio might be rolled into Windows Phone 7, but it hasn't outlined a timeline for when this would happen.