updated 12:55 pm EDT, Mon April 12, 2010
Microsoft Kin One, Kin Two set to launch
Microsoft is holding a special event in San Francisco today where it's expected to launch its first self-branded phones from Project Pink, which should include the Pure and Turtle (possibly Kin One and Kin Two) for Verizon. Electronista will provide live coverage of the event with updates and photos after the story jump; updates are in reverse order, Eastern time.
Event already over -- on purpose, to focus on hands-on for those at the show.
1:33PM: Kin should reach stores in May, but no prices.
1:32PM: Verizon is the key partner, but it's also going worldwide with Vodafone. Sharp makes the phone.
Verizon's John Harrabin: Kin serves a broader audience than just the socially connected; anyone who's obsessed with photos and videos. Parents, for example: "better than the Flip."
1:28PM: Phones have 5MP (One) and 8MP (Two) cameras that can do 720p. Share to MySpace, Facebook, Windows Live. Lumi-LED flashes that are the brightest possible.
Kin Studio: a web-based sharing place for photos and videos to store and sync your media in case you lose a phone.
1:22PM: Prioritizes contacts based on how often you use them; they get photo panels. A search button on the keyboard automatically brings it up.
Sharing can combine info: share a website and location at the same time.
First phone to ship with Zune services. Even ahead of WP7, can play music and access the Zune Marketplace. If you have a Zune Pass, it can stream music without needing locally-stored content.
1:18PM: Confirms the "truly, madly deeply" codewords leaked out; it was an expression of the company's goals.
Making the Kin One and Kin Two official: puts social networking at the front with status updates and input in real time. Shows Kin One (the Turtle). Comments and sharing ("the Kin Spot") in one tap.
1:12PM: Robbie Bach (normally of the Xbox group) talks about users: very demanding, familiar with technology, focused on social connections.
Not like Windows Phone 7; that's a general-purpose OS. We have an opportunity to go after a very specific audience. Small team tasked with going after a social group.
1:10PM: Microsoft is just starting, but in the meantime it's been confirmed that the Turtle and Pure phones are the Kin One and Kin Two. They will both have capacitive touchscreens, sliding QWERTY keyboards and a non-standard interface.
12:55PM: The event today is at the Mighty club in San Francisco; the venue is likely a reflection of the heavy social networking components of the phones.