Microsoft Kin – Another fragmentation of Windows Phone

In the beginning, we had Windows Mobile. Then came along Windows Phone 7 and we thought that was all. But almost everyone forgot Microsoft’s earlier acquisition of Danger, the company behind the Sidekick phones.

What Microsoft has done now is create a new Windows® Phone designed specifically for people who are actively navigating their social lives. What has been severally refered to as “Project Pink” has now been officially revealed as KIN.

KIN is a new social experience from Microsoft Corp. that combines the phone, online services and the PC. Designed for the socially connected consumer, and with unique features such as the Spot, the Loop and Studio, KIN helps you navigate your social life. It brings together who and what you love in a whole new way.

KIN is a product of collaboration between Microsoft, Sharp, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone.

Microsoft Kin - Another fragmentation of Windows Phone 1

From the Microsoft website:

REDMOND, Wash. — April 12, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today announced KIN, a new Windows® Phone designed specifically for people who are actively navigating their social lives. Brought to life through partnerships with Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Sharp Corporation, KIN is designed to be the ultimate social experience that blends the phone, online services and the PC with breakthrough new experiences called the Loop, Spot and Studio. KIN will be exclusively available from Verizon Wireless in the U.S. beginning in May and from Vodafone this autumn in Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

KIN is a new social experience from Microsoft Corp. that combines the phone, online services and the PC.

“Working closely with our partners, we saw an opportunity to design a mobile experience just for this social generation — a phone that makes it easy to share your life moment to moment,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We built KIN for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most.”

A New Kind of Social Phone
With KIN, social networking is built into the fabric of the phone. KIN has a fun, simple interface, which is designed to help people publish the magazine of their life by making the people and stuff they love the focus rather than menus and icons. The unique hardware design was developed in partnership with Sharp to create a new kind of social phone. There are two models called KIN ONE and KIN TWO. Both phones feature a touch screen and slide-out keyboard. ONE is small and compact, making it a perfect fit for a pocket and to operate with one hand. TWO has a larger screen and keyboard, in addition to more memory, a higher resolution camera, and the ability to record high-definition video. The 5 and 8 megapixel cameras in ONE and TWO, respectively, are designed for use in low light with image stabilization and a bright LumiLED flash.

The New Way to Share
The home screen of the phone is called the KIN Loop, which is always up to date and always on, showing all the things happening in someone’s social world. KIN automatically brings together feeds from leading Microsoft and third-party services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all in one place, making it easier to stay connected. Customers can also select their favorite people, and KIN will automatically prioritize their status updates, messages, feeds and photos. Another unique feature, the KIN Spot is a new way for people to share what’s going on in their world. It lets them focus first on the people and stuff they want to share rather than the specific application they want to use. Videos, photos, text messages, Web pages, location and status updates are shared by simply dragging them to a single place on the phone called the Spot. Once all the people and content are in the Spot to share, the consumer can choose how to share, and start broadcasting.

Your Phone, on the Web
KIN Studio is your phone online. Almost everything created on the phone is available in the cloud from any Web browser. Photos and videos are freed from the confines of the phone and presented in an online visual timeline so they are easy to view and share. The KIN Studio automatically backs up texts, call history, photos, videos and contacts, and populates a personalized digital journal so it’s easy to go back in time to relive a crazy weekend or recent birthday. And the KIN Studio gives customers tons of storage to keep all those photos, videos, contacts and texts so they’ll never run out of space on their phone and lose a memory.

Music and More
KIN will be the first Windows Phone to feature a Zune experience — including music, video, FM radio and podcast playback. With a Zune Pass subscription, customers using Zune software on their PC can listen to millions of songs from Zune Marketplace on their KIN while on the go, or load their personal collection. KIN also has other features customers want in a phone including a rich browser with the ability to share pieces of the Web, local and Web search by Bing, and an RSS feed reader to pull down information on people and stories from the Web.

Two Kin devices have been announced – Kin One and Kin Two.

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KIN One: 5 megapixel camera, 4GB built-in storage, no memory card slot, GPS receiver, Zune media player, and multi-touch
Microsoft Kin - Another fragmentation of Windows Phone 3
KIN Two: 8 megapixel camera with HD video recording and flash, 8 GB built-in memory, no memory card slot

Visit the KIN website and the KIN Virtual Presskit.

Mister Mobility

I started blogging about mobile in 2004 as a fun way to share my passion for gadgets and mobile services. My other interests include digital media, speaking and teaching, photography, travelling, and dancing.

12 thoughts on “Microsoft Kin – Another fragmentation of Windows Phone

  • April 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm
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    New phone again? Don’t they ever slow down?! I couldn’t get my head round the last one before this one showed up!

  • April 12, 2010 at 10:43 pm
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    It all boils down to the same thing.
    Phones, phones, and more phones…
    Manufacturers going for your financial jugular…..
    And to think that we shall all be waiting to get our hands on them. Are we not nuts?

    Looks like things are going to get pretty hot in the mobile phone world this year. And its going to be like never before.

  • April 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm
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    Nooo!!! Look at how Kin One is held in that picture! My fingers hurt just looking at it! It looks unconfortable to manipulate. The picture shows the device being poked at. Is that what we are supposed to do to our phones? I thought we poke dudes/things we are angry/fustrated at?

    The design is punny and all girly. Like something I’ll give my 7 year old niece (assuming she doesnt think its a toy and smashes it within the hour). Well maybe thats the target market (teens and grown babies). I wouldn’t want to try out a phone then be embarassed by it, me being middle aged and all.

    Now that Mahogany has said what I didnt what to say earlier, let me echo him… unappealing design.

  • April 13, 2010 at 11:23 pm
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    Gentleman,

    Now lets not kill these KINs before they are born. There may be something good coming out of them yet. Who knows, microsoft could be giving them out free to members of mobilitynigeria forum.

    To those of us into hardware qwerty keypads, these really look nice and practical judging from the pics.

  • April 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm
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    @deoladoctor

    “Who knows, microsoft could be giving them out free to members of mobilitynigeria forum.”

    Haha! you wish!!

  • April 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm
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    I thought Microsoft has a cloud-computing phone in the pipeline. They intended to call it PINK. Seems to me like they ve ditched it for the KIN.
    Anyway, the KIN’s features are impressive. My only gripe about it is the ugly design. Look bugsy to me. Common, Microsoft. You can do more than this.

  • April 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm
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    @Azeez

    These phones aren’t ugly actually. The KIN ONE is really goodlooking just like a clamshell and would really appeal to the young and the young at heart. And as I said previously, I really love its keypad.

    I think microsoft is trying to change from the usual form factors that we all are used to.

  • April 16, 2010 at 11:53 am
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    The Design is unappealing! I agree with that. I also feel Microsoft over-assumed that youths of nowadays are over-crazed over Social Networking. they should have concentrated more on video and music on the phone, if they were really sure they wanted to target youths. And don’t forget about gaming too!

  • April 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm
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    @Afewgoodmen

    Am sure microsoft is not forgeting those things. The Phones will be filled with facilities for music, video, etc in addition to the social networking. (See the specs and camera size).

    But who says the youth are not into social networking? My nine year old boy just blackmailed me into buying him a nokia that can browse and has facebook facilities.

    Talking about the appeal of the phones, i think they are nice and trendy. The young ones will really go for them. (Samsung Corby series is an example of this kind of marketing strategy success).

    Nokia is not resting on its oars. Its trimming down to a fighting weight.

  • April 18, 2010 at 10:10 am
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    @Deoladoctor. I understand your argument. But a hands-on review that I read on the net did not seem to confirm the video and music function dexterity of the two new microsoft phones.

    And by your last statement, I think you meant Microsoft, instead of Nokia.

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