Microsoft unveils Kin handsets

Previously known by the "Pink" codename, Microsoft unveils the Kin handset. The handset aimed at the "Social Generation".
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Previously known by the "Pink" codename, Microsoft unveils the Kin handset. The handset aimed at the "Social Generation". 


Two handsets announced:


According to Microsoft, while Windows Phone 7 is supposed to simplify life, Kin is meant to amplify it.

The idea seems to be that your social life is integrated into views, and you share stuff with others by dragging items onto "the Spot" and choose how to share that information.

The handset integrates with Zune ... a nice idea but I think that the "Social Generation" would prefer integration with iTunes.

Kin Studio mirrors the contents of the handset (photos, videos, messages, call history ... ) and places it on the web. Photos and videos automatically geotagged. This is an interesting feature.

Verizon is the exclusive service carrier partner in the US. No dates or plans announced just yet, but we "should look for Kin in stores next month, in May."

Some questions:

  • What differentiates this handset from an iPhone or Android? What can the Kin do that these handsets can't using third-party apps?
  • How responsive will Microsoft be to evolving social media? New features are being added constantly and unless Microsoft keeps up with the pace of change, Kin users could find themselves being sidelined.
  • Sure, we're seeing social/mobile convergence, but where are the walls and boundaries? Can we add different social networks?
  • Will there be developer support?
  • Will this idea gain traction amongst users? Zune's success so far is limited to say the least.
  • Prices?!?!?!?!?! Data plans?!?!?!?!!?

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