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Microsoft Launches KIN, A Social Networking Phone

 5:24 pm on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Microsoft is currently launching KIN, a social networking phone with a wealth of sharing features.

It comes with a touchscreen and qwerty keyboard.

Interestingly, the camera automatically geotags the pictures.

Its partners are Verizon, and the phone is made by Sharp.



 5:34 pm on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)


I'm not seeing anything particularly innovative, but it's interesting that MS is finally making an attempt to keep up with the mobile OS industry.


 5:37 pm on Apr 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Ushers in the Next Generation of the Social Phone With KIN, a New Windows Phone [microsoft.com]
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.

“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.”


 1:21 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm not seeing anything particularly innovative, but it's interesting that MS is finally making an attempt to keep up with the mobile OS industry.

What? thats just being stubborn

1. Kin studio - Backing up phone, reviewing photos/videos, reviewing text messages, studio even integrates with "kin loop" and "kin spot" so you can integrate with your social networks connected on your phone or on your desktop (probably web/silverlight based). If you lose your phone, you just restore it from your kin studio.

2. Kin spot creates a one stop icon to share everything with your kin. a single ui interface that accept every ui element of your connected phone to share with the people you know. Its very innovatinve

3. Kin loop - builds upon the new tiles of the WP7 interface and presents everything easily.. pretty much the defacto for all phones, but pretty amazing to pull off for what will be a "contract phone" rather than a 3-400.00 smart phone.

4. The camera and video experience is pretty darn good and improved upon by many phones - especially how easily it is integrated with the social networking functionality. Its also backed up to your kin studio.. My wife has lost a lot of videos/pics on her iphone due to the thing dying/needing hard resets

5. The zune eco-system is pretty amazing. 14.95/month for unlimited songs on multiple devices and "keep 10" = great value. The rental experience is also standardized across all zune devices so you can rent and play on your PC, xbox, windows media center and zune devices.

Sounds pretty innovative to me - especially for the mid market that this phone will be going after

I realize engadget seems hell bent on mocking the device and only a few people are even bothering to recognize how innovative this is for the market its going after (which isn't the iphone users who accept paying 1,200 bucks a year for a phone)


 2:01 am on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

My last phone was Windows mobile based. In fact I stubbornly owned three consecutive windows mobile phones. :-)

I finally gave up on them last year when MS somehow managed to fall a full year behind everyone else in mobile.

So I bought an Android based phone...

This phone, which I paid under $200, does everything you listed and then some, with superior hardware (excepting the camera in the Kin 2) and currently sells for $20 with a contract.

It doesn't need hard resets, music can come from anywhere (i.e. it's free) and it's linux based so virtually anything is possible. Yet it still manages to be idiot proof.

I bought this phone nearly half a year ago... So where's the innovation in the Kin?

I'm glad they're trying to catch up, if MS were to manage to make it to the leading edge again in mobile it would do wonders for the market. But catching up is all they're doing atm.


 12:41 pm on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Next Generation of the Social Phone

I agree with Ian, Much prefer the Android for lots of reasons, the latest android phones are the ones to be buying at the moment.


 8:51 pm on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

You guys are missing the point entirely, these aren't to compete against android.. These are entry/mid market phones for people who don't want a 3,000 dollar 2 year contract.

Most people care less about the phone OS, they just want pictures, video, twitter, facebook, myspace and music and this phone does it all.

If they want a smartphone they're gonna pay for one and get a druid or iphone or wp7


 9:14 pm on Apr 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

The point, at least the one I was responding to, was whether or not Microsoft was innovating.

There are plenty of entry level phones with similar features already available.


 5:29 am on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why are you hung up on innovation? That's what MS will be trying to do with WP7 later in the year (which this is based on). This platform sits somewhere between "feature phones" and smart phones. This is MS making use of their recently acquired Danger. It's not targeted at the iPhone/Droid market.


 7:03 am on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'll bite, what does KIN stand for ?

Keep It New ?
Kool Is Nice ?

never mind, I don't want to know.

[edited by: bill at 7:36 am (utc) on Apr 14, 2010]
[edit reason] let's keep it family friendly [/edit]


 5:46 pm on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Oh please, you're being dense if you don't understand the name "kin"

Main Entry: 1kin
Pronunciation: \ˈkin\
Function: noun
1 : a group of persons of common ancestry : clan
2 a : one's relatives : kindred b : kinsman <he wasn't any kin to you — Jean Stafford>

The kin allows you to easily stay in touch with your "kin" and the ease of such is a pretty unique way to market that "kin""ship"

some people are so dense :)


 6:05 pm on Apr 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why are you hung up on innovation?

Heh... I didn't intend to be! It started with a 5 word comment inspired by the silly claim in their press release that the Kin is the "next generation of social networking phones" or similar.

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