Microsoft Unveils Kin ‘social’ phones
Microsoft debut two new phones recently, Kin 1 and Kin 2, for the youths who are into social networking. Both are touchscreen phones and come with QWERTY keypads for ease of typing.
Microsoft has launched two new phones – Kin 1 and Kin 2 – aimed at youths who are into social networking, and comes with a high-resolution camera and access to Microsoft’s Zune music service. The handsets will have the Kin logo on the back, with the Windows ID in much smaller type.
Similar to Motorola’s MotoBlur interface for Android, Kin is a cloud-based OS, automatically uploading photos and video to the Kin server. Users can log into a Kin account on their PCs to view and share media.
The shorter Kin 1 has a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the bottom, while the Kin 2 has a full QWERTY keyboard that comes out from its side. The Kin 1 will include a 5-megapixel camera, while the Kin 2 will have an eight-megapixel camera. The Kin 2 will also be capable of shooting HD-quality video.
The phones have been created specifically to help people who like to stay in touch with friends and share content, an obvious attempt to revitalize Microsoft’s moribund mobile business and begin the long road to catch up to Apple Corp’s iPhone and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry.
Both phones use touch screen technology. Kin 1 is square-shaped handset and Kin 2 is longer and more rectangular. They are being made by Sharp Corp, which has produced Sidekick cell phones, whose software comes from Microsoft-owned Danger Inc.
The Kin’s home screen can handle a live stream of updates to social networks, with photos and other content sent with a finger swipe in a drag-and-drop function.
The Kin phones mark a new route for Microsoft. Microsoft has historically licensed its mobile software to other companies, as will be the case with its recently announced Windows Phone 7 Series software, which is expected to be on handsets this year.