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Microsoft gets into phones with Kin

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Mon April 12, 2010

Kin One and Two reach Verizon in May

Microsoft today took the wraps from Kin, its first self-branded phone line. The series focuses on social networking and centers on the Kin Loop, a home screen that shows Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Microsoft services. Contacts can be favorited and will take the lead in all parts of the phone UI depending on how often they're used.

Sharing is equally important and revolves around the Kin Spot, a sharing hub that lets users merge media from different sources: they can share websites, media, messages and location info at the same time without having to go to separate apps.

It promises a web sharing component known as the Kin Studio. The portal not only serves as a backup in case contacts, media and messages are lost but also as a Flickr-style way of sharing photos and videos with friends. It automatically populates a journal that can attach all sources of info together based on when they were created.

Kin actually beats Windows Phone 7 to launching Zune on phones and plays and syncs music. Since it has an always-on connection, it can even stream songs from the Zune Marketplace for those that already have a Zune Pass, making storage a possible non-issue. Notably, there will be a Mac music loading content to take music from iTunes, but no shopping from the Zune store.

The first two phones share capacitive touchscreens, sliding QWERTY keyboards and cameras with an extra-bright Lumi LED flash. The Kin One, previously codenamed the Turtle, is the entry level and has a 2.6-inch touchscreen, a five-megapixel camera, 4GB of storage, an FM radio, GPS and Wi-Fi. The Kin Two (formerly Pure) has a larger 3.4-inch screen and an eight-megapixel camera.

Verizon is expected to carry the Kin line in May, with prices to be set later. Vodafone will carry GSM versions sometime in the fall.


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By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +12

    Hah!

    Microsoft is trying to kill Facebook; how adorable that they think they can pull it off. That "social" whatever interface looks terrible, which is not surprising. I expect these to perform even worse than the Zune in the marketplace.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2002

    +9

    Oh Jeez...

    Microsoft should stick to making their crappy operating systems.

  1. Uncommon

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2000

    +11

    Here it comes

    Brace yourself for the "next of kin" jokes...

  1. Wingsy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005

    +5

    What About ....

    Multitasking?

    What about Copy/Paste?

    If it doesn't have these things it will fail miserably, just like the original iPhone.

    And WHY have I not head a single peep out of these Windows fanboys about this????

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    +5

    This Rocks

    Like a Rock Turtle, err Lobster... or something like that. Whats the purpose of this phone from Microsoft? Oh yeah to s**** their partners and kill Facebook.

  1. jdsonice@gmail.com

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2009

    +7

    Next of Kin

    As someone said brace yourself for "next of kin" jokes. The hilarious thing is that these phones have a hardware design that is probably 5-6 years old. I think Microsoft is out to prove that (a) they are stupid (b) it is the truth that they are 7-10 years behind Apple.

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Feb 2009

    +8

    ??

    Okay, I read the article, went to the Kin site, and watched about 20 minutes of crappy videos of young cool kids dancing around and I'm still no wiser about what this thing actually is. It runs WinMobile? Windows Phone 7? Pink? WTF?

    Also, note to Microsoft ... when I go to an entire site devoted to a single product, listen to all the intro stuff, and then click on a link that promises the "highlights" of said product. I shouldn't just get another music video with no explanation.

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +5

    Um?

    "Microsoft gets into phones"???

    Ever heard of the failed Windows Mobile Phones? WiMP has been around for about a decade.

  1. Kees

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +5

    MS hardware?

    kin website is in flash, but the kin doesn't support flash, nice.

    How is this a Microsoft phone though? From the website, I'd have to conclude it's a Sharp?

    I love how they make a big deal about how easy it is to share stuff by dragging it onto some button or something, yet even when the actors do it in those clips, it looks really awkward.

  1. facebook_Tom

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2010

    +3

    2.6 inch screen

    'kin hilariously small.

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