Today Microsoft unveiled their newest mobile phone project, the Kin. Previously know as Project Pink, these phones are designed and created in conjunction with Sharp. This comes as no surprise as the team consists of those who are also responsible for the previously popular Sidekick line of phones, Danger which Microsoft owns. If this is the next evolution of the Sidekick idea, then I’m all for it. It certainly does look very interesting.
The Kin is to put it bluntly, a socially networked phone with only 1 purpose and that is to keep you connected with your friends and peers. The Kin helps you connect to all your favorite social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter while also keeping you completely in the loop of everything going on with them. The Kin doesn’t allow for app downloads or anything of that nature, but I can imagine that there is a market for a phone that just does social networking. Some people don’t care about apps or games and when they do, its for social networking apps anyways. Everything else is just fluff that they don’t use. The Kin will be available in 2 flavors; the Kin 1 and Kin 2. Both feature QWERTY keyboards and multitouch screens. You can compare the 2 phones below.
The Kin seems to run off of a custom version of Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 platform but with a completely different look and feel to it. The main feature of the phone is something called the Kin Spot and Kin Loop. These are the 2 main screens that will be the focus of the entire phone. The Kin Spot is where you share all your information. The Kin Loop is where you view all social network information. Easy. Everything is in real time.The Kin also includes Zune software for playing back all your movies and video. The UI is very much the same as Zune HD so it will be familiar for most who have been using Zune HDs.
Microsoft also created a new desktop experience for the Kin that is based heavily on the Zune desktop software. Microsoft calls this the Kin Studio. The software is actually very interesting as it collects all the data from your phone automatically over the air and puts them in a timeline type format. It has a very interesting interface and seems to back up every single piece of data you exchange. You can even view whole photo albums from the software as it seems that photos are uploaded in real time to an online photo album. The software is very graphical in nature and is far different from anything you might have seen before.
What do I think about Microsoft’s new Kin? I honestly think the Kin does have real potential here. We have here a phone that obviously will appeal to the younger crowd who don’t necessarily need a full on smartphone like a BlackBerry or iPhone. I’m pretty much referring to teenagers and those in the early to mid 20’s. For instance, I can see someone like my wife using this phone as all she does is converse with friends. She has no use for apps or games and would love a phone that was more geared towards social networks that was easy to use and share information with. Judging by the screens and videos, this seems like just the phone. This however is not a phone for me as I like my apps and do other things with my phone besides social networking but I can say that I am very interested with the Kin and can’t wait to see more about it and maybe get some hands on time with it in the future.
If you want to find out more about the Kin, you can visit Microsoft’s new Kin website at http://www.kin.com.