Microsoft KIN smartphone targets social networking
By Jeff Salton
April 13, 2010
Microsoft says its new KIN Windows phone has been designed specifically for people who are actively navigating their social lives – and let’s face it, who isn’t? The software giant has partnered with Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Sharp to deliver the product exclusively to the US (Verizon Wireless), Germany, Italy, Spain the UK (Vodafone). KIN melds a handset, online services and the PC with new experiences called the Loop, Spot and Studio. There are two models – KIN ONE and KINE TWO, both with touch screens and slide out keyboards.
The KIN ONE is small and compact and has been designed to be operated with one hand. TWO has a larger screen and keyboard, more memory, a higher resolution camera (ONE has a 5MP camera, TWO has 8MP), and is able to record high-definition video. Both cameras can be used in low light and have image stabilization and a bright LumiLED flash.
“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,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.
Microsoft says KIN has social networking built into the fabric of the phone with an interface that takes the focus away from menus and icons.
The home screen of the KIN is called the Loop, which is always up to date and always on. KIN automatically brings together feeds from services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all in one place.
Once selected, KIN will automatically prioritize your favorite people’s status updates, messages, feeds and photos.
KIN Spot allows users to share videos, photos, text messages, web pages, location and status updates, 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.
KIN Studio is the online access to your phone which helps sharing any content kept on the handset. The KIN Studio automatically backs up texts, call history, photos, videos and contacts, which means you won’t lose vital information if you lose your handset and you’ll never run out of storage space on your phone, either.
Music and More
KIN will be the first Windows Phone to feature Zune — including music, video, FM radio and podcast playback. Zune customers with the software on their PCs can listen to Zune Marketplace on their KIN or load up their personal collection. KIN allows users to search the Web using Bing and has an RSS feed reader.
The KIN will be available from May.