Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

Summary: Last we heard, even though Microsoft had kinned the Kin -- its phone for the teen/20-something hipster set -- the Kin Studio concepts were still not completely dead. Could the Kin Studio's successor be "Mobile Studio"?

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Amazon's announcement of its Cloud Drive music-storage service for got me thinking again about the kinds of cloud add-ons that Microsoft may be prepping for Windows Phone 7.

Last we heard, even though Microsoft had kinned the Kin -- its phone for the teen/20-something hipster set -- the Kin Studio concepts were still not completely dead. A post on  March 29 from @w7ap, mentioning some vaguely worded Microsoft job posts for "Mobile Studio," got me thinking even more.

Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business is seeking folks for the Mobile Studio team -- "a multidisciplinary team whose charter is to design world-class end-to-end experiences that are desirable, thoughtful, consistent, and easy-to-use to the Windows Phone platform. ("Our goal is to ensure full integration of brand, industrial design, user interface, graphic design, usability, and business strategy," according to the job postings.)

The Kin Studio synchronized content like photos, videos, status updates and messages and made it accessible in a timeline in a browser. As Engadget described it last year:

"Perhaps the biggest surprise or outside-the-box feature is Kin Studio. Basically, it lets you do everything you can do on your phone, like share your photos, update your status, etc. (even using a Kin Spot UI to do it), but it also acts as cloud storage for all your media -- including a scrubbable timeline for checking out your own archives. You can also do contact management from here, another nice perk."

What if Mobile Studio is Kin Studio reincarnated and de-hipsterized? And maybe Zune-ified? (For some reason, Microsoft doesn't offer anything like Amazon's Cloud Drive for music, even though it offers the Zune music/movie service and ZunePass subscription service.)

It wasn't all that long ago -- back in 2009 -- that Microsoft was making plans for all kinds of cloud add-ons for its Windows Mobile platform.

Skybox was supposed to be "a hub for user data and information — a place for storing and accessing photos, contact lists, calendar items and more on Microsoft datacenter servers." As I blogged at the time, "If you lose or switch your phone, all your data and contacts are saved in your Skybox. Skybox is based on the Mobicomp synchronization technologies that the Redmondians acquired when they purchased the Portuguese services company Mobicomp in the summer of 2008."

Microsoft was well along the way of fielding not just a free version, but a paid version, too, of Skybox before the company abruptly skidded to a halt with its Windows Mobile 7 plans, resetting them to Windows Phone 7. The Redmondians seemingly scrapped Skybox and instead introduced its MyPhone add-ons, alongside Windows Live SkyDrive, as partial replacements. (MyPhone is advertised as being Windows Mobile 6.x+ compatible, with a few of that family of services available as integrated parts of the Windows Phone 7 OS.)

Speaking of Windows Live, I'm wondering whether Microsoft is still planning to add Windows Phone support to its Live Mesh sync service, or if Microsoft plans to continue to restrict Live Mesh so that it doesn't work with mobile phones. (Speaking of Live Mesh, the Live Mesh beta expires Thursday, March 31. If you haven't moved to the final Live Mesh version, which removed phone support, you'll lose all your Live Mesh data after today.)

Perhaps we might hear a bit more about whatever Mobile Studio is at the upcoming Mix '11 show. After all, I'd think Microsoft would want to get third-party app and service developers and designers thinking about how they might fit into the picture....

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

    Thanks for the pingback MJ. I never ran the KIN studio since I was not on Verizon, but seeing some video demo of the software seems like a very fun but advance piece of software. Hopefully we can get the same experience or better with the Windows Phone Mobile Studio.
    wp7ap
    • RE: Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

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  • It would certainly be nice ...

    ... if MS actually innovated the Zune PC software, which has been largely stagnant over the past couple of years. There is e.g. not much difference between the WP7 app store in the software, and WP7 app store listings you can find on the web. Also, I keep having to listen to music on iTunes first (because it has an equalizer) before I decide to buy it using the Zune PC software - if the music is available on the Zune software. The Zune PC software should be a lot more developed, and should outshine the iTunes client by a large amount. If MS is going to come up with something similar to the Kin Studio for WP7, its features should be in the Zune software first, and (the Mobile Studio software) should be seen as little more than something to hold people over, until they are able to get to their Zune software on their PCs. MS should really make it a policy to ensure that their software shine on Windows platforms (by a substantial margin), compared to other platforms - in order to drive and keep users on its own platforms.
    P. Douglas
  • RE: Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

    MSFT should keep it. It was an innovative idea. If they can sell more WP7 phones that use the service, it will live.
    mstrsfty
  • RE: Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

    Studio was the best feature of KIN. It should be implmented in WP7 and integerated in Live services. Integrating WP7 with Windows Live Photo Gallery would be slick.
    frankwick
  • RE: Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

    When I heard that Kin was dying, the only solstice was that the Kin Studio might make it to WP7. I can only hope that this will soon be the case. It was a fabulous idea that was never given a proper chance to fly.

    And integrating it into the Zune software would be great. The Zune software is already very nice, and improving the information that can be managed through it should make it better.
    jglopic
  • RE: Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

    Since WP7SOSPs are to Kin, what Windows 7 was to Vista. Is really a stretch to understand that Microsoft will eventually put all the features of Kin phones in WP7SOSPs?
    Rick_K
  • RE: Windows Phone Mobile Studio: A reincarnated (and de-hipsterized) Kin Studio?

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