Microsoft today unveiled its "Project
Pink" phones which are aimed at the growing social networking
scene. The new phones are now known as the Kin
One and the Kin Two.
With more people becoming
more addicted to social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, and
Twitter, it's only natural that Microsoft would want in on a piece of
the action with a mobile device specifically targeting the sector.
The new phones are geared more towards
a younger audience; specifically teens and young adults. Microsoft
calls these “young folk” that want to keep in contact with their
acquaintances, celebrities they follow on Twitter, and really close
"Windows Phone 7 is about
simplifying your life," said Robbie Bach. "Windows [Kin] is
about amplifying your life."
The new Kin phones are based on a
Windows CE core, sharing similar design themes, but not the
full-fledged general purpose operating system capabilities of the
Phone 7 smartphone operating system.
The Kin phones will also naturally
integrate with the Zune Marketplace which will serve up and music and
video content -- music can be streamed to the Zin One and Kin Two over Wi-Fi or 3G. However, if you're looking for Xbox Live gaming -- as
seen in Windows Phone 7 -- you'll need to look elsewhere. And just in
case you were wondering, there's no support for third-party apps,
Silverlight, or the ubiquitous
The Kin Spot, which is invoked by a
green button on the keyboard, brings up a little green dot on the
screen. You can drag status updates, photos, videos, and events to
the Kin Spot and instantly share it with your friends via Facebook,
email, MMS, etc.
The Kin Studio allows you to see your
phone on the internet using any browser. Your contacts, photos,
videos, text messages, and calendar events are all web accessible
using a simple user interface. It also serves as a huge online backup
database for your phone -- so if your phone is lost, everything is
easily restored from an online backup. Microsoft also sees the web as
an extension of your user storage, so the 4GB or 8G of storage on the
Kin One and Kin Two respectively shouldn't really matter all that
much to the end user.
The Kin One is a tiny phone with an
equally tiny QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the bottom
(portrait view). The Kin One features 4GB of internal storage, a 5MP
camera (with LED flash), a mono speaker, and a QVGA screen. The Kin
Two is a larger phone with a more traditionally-sized smartphone
screen and a landscape keyboard. It features 8GB of internal storage,
an 8MP digital camera, stereo speakers, and an HVGA display.
Both the Kin One and Kin Two feature 3G
radios, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. Verizon will be the
exclusive carrier for both phone in the U.S. when they launch later
this May. Pricing is not yet available.
Microsoft definitely thinks that it has
an audience with these phones, but we can't help but think that these
two phones will end up being snapped up mostly by tweens and teenagers who'll be
texting away in class. That being said, it seems as though young adults (as pictured in all of Microsoft's press materials and Kin video footage) would want a more full-featured phone like
a Motorola Droid, iPhone, or Windows Phone 7 smartphone to carry around with them instead of
something that is just geared towards social media.
quote: The new Kin phones are based on a Windows CE core, sharing similar design themes, but not the full-fledged general purpose operating system capabilities of the upcoming Windows Phone 7 smartphone operating system.
quote: that a big-brother parent would love this.
quote: Microsoft calls these “young folk”
quote: And by becoming productive, I assume you mean sending 10,000 texts in a month while in class, ignoring everything else in life -- the typical life of America's youth these days. What a friggin' waste!
quote: (Sorry if I offended any of you red neck hill-billys that *still* haven’t figured out you need to lift the handle *before* you drop the hitch down onto the ball…)
quote: Damn kids are too spoiled these days anyway. Why the hell does a 10 year old need a cell phone?
quote: But this is incredibly far from the "iPhone/Blackberry/Android killer" that some were touting the pink project to be originally.
quote: Microsoft definitely thinks that it has an audience with these phones, but we can't help but think that these two phones will end up being snapped up mostly by tweens and teenagers who'll be texting away in class.
quote: My wife is gonna dig it too. All she does is text and facebook and doesn't really need a full smartphone.
quote: 10 months later, she's practically begging me to give her my iPhone when the fourth gen model comes out :)
quote: Why do you think this was previously called Project Pink?
quote: If you force this on your wife, I doubt she'll be happy.
quote: Why don't you let HER choose what phone she wants?