Only a month on and the Kin is discounted?

No, its not the Kin, but there is a striking resemblance. The Kin does not appear to have received too warm a welcome.

Microsoft’s recently released Kin phone hit the news almost immediately, with some people taking exception to its advert where Microsoft was accused of promoting “sexting”.  This was just the start and after promptly removing the section they were then accused by some of overacting.  I think its fair to say that since then the Kin has failed to worry any mobile phone manufacturer.

A few years back I remember entering a discussion on Microsoft Watch, where users were reporting that the Microsoft Zune was to be found in the bargain bin of stores (around the Xmas period)  Could the Kin be destined for the “bargain bin” too?

It may already be on its way.  It is being reported that Best Buy is offering a $50 discount on the price tag of  $50 and $100 for each device respectively.  This of course makes the Kin One free (on a contract) However, is this enough for the phone which has not exactly received rave reviews around the net.

So lets look at this Kin “bargain”.  Shaped like a bar of soap, the Kin comes in two models.  Creatively named Kin One and er… Kin Two.  Its been touted as a social networking phone with an advocate recently saying to me on Twitter, “it’s the greatest social networking phone that has ever been built.” which is strange because the Kin does not appear to have an app store (something which appeals to the younger generation that the Kin is aimed at) and also because the person saying it didn’t even own one.

Despite touting itself as a social networking phone, there is a lack of an IRC client which whilst it was pointed out to me is not that popular a protocol with the mainstream user, nevertheless, if I was to buy a social networking phone it would be an essential feature.

Moving on, PCW had this to say about the Kin phone:

There are no apps, there’s no Flash, and there are no games. And all of that is a bit baffling. But there are other features even more core to the social networking experience that are even more conspicuously absent……. Microsoft’s Kin has no instant messaging client, no appointment calendar, and no universal inbox. There’s no photo or video editing, and while the Kin does offer seamless photo and video uploading to certain social services, Twitter is not among them. The lack of Flash also presents potential problems with Web video playback, and the lack of any app support makes it impossible to correct any of these omissions with third-party programs.

Microsoft sound as if they have a bestseller on their hands😉

And in respect of the Kin, the article concludes with:

I can’t for the life of me figure out what Microsoft was thinking.

To which I would respond, when have we ever?

You can see this review over at:  http://www.pcworld.com/article/194262/the_curious_thing_about_microsoft_kin.html

I am wondering if Microsoft have any direction at all.  For me this “Kin” experiment seems a wild shot in the dark with a desperate Microsoft hoping it will create a craze with this social networking phone.  I think its safe to say that won’t happen and in my view the only people who are talking about the product are those who are not the target audience and are using it to ask the question yet again, “What on earth is Microsoft up to?”

At least the Kin progressed further than the Courier though, although had I been at Microsoft and given the choice of the concept to market, there is no way I would have touched the Kin with a 10 foot pole and would have gone the Courier route.

Engadget had this to say in summary regarding the Kin:

….In the end, we’re left with two orphan devices — phones that feel like they should have been killed before they made it to market, but somehow slipped through……..Kin is one side of the family that needs to be disowned… quickly.

You can read this comment in the Kin One/Two review here: http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/05/kin-one-and-two-review/

http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2010/05/05/microsoft-kin-two-preview/ had these comments to say on the Kin One/Two:

…..this device kind of spoiled my excitement for Windows Phone 7 — it is definitely not the same (though they do have the same base kernel), but it seems to be a little peak into that window, and from where I am standing, I don’t like the view.

Oh dear.  Houston we have a problem.

The whole Kin concept would not be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that Microsoft has produced this “product” in a market where you have Apple, HTC and numerous others producing phones which are massively popular.  Microsoft really thinks that in todays market a soap bar shaped phone aimed at social networking (yet according to reviews lacks features) they can push these things onto people?

So the only question remaining will be, how much money will Microsoft actually make on its latest idea? and I would pity the teenager who surrounded by their Apple owning friends pulls out a Kin.

Microsoft on the other hand is apparently very pleased with its latest creation, over on a press release found here, we read:

the picture became clearer and clearer of what this socially connected generation really wants in a phone, and what they haven’t been getting from devices on the market to date…..

So there you go.  The Kin is what YOU want.  I wonder if we will receive a Ballmer confessional about the Kin, this time next year?

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the Openbytes statement, here.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. But that’s the Microsoft way – they know better than you what you want.

    1. openbytes says:

      Its a sorry state of affairs when a company like Microsoft not only releases this, but believes people will buy it.

      I think its this type of action that has led to Microsoft losing customers. People don’t buy into advertising anymore. I think we can safely say Kin will be gone shortly but what of the money spent developing and marketing this product?

      If/when Ballmer leaves, is the new CEO going to be receiving a poison chalice? With products like these, I think it would be a brave woman/man to step in and take responsibility for trying to stop the rot.

      And what do the shareholders think? Are they happy with the Kin product?…..

      The mind boggles and to me it shows just how much power Microsoft has when it can inflict a Kin type product onto the market in the hope that it sells.

  2. openbytes says:

    Heres the comments from a Kin supporter that I discovered on Twitter…(as yet, he’s the only one who’s made himself known to me):

    Quote “it’s the greatest social networking phone that has ever been built.”

    Although after that he admits he doesn’t own one.

    But of course J4rrod is correct and everyone else is wrong. Here is what he has to say when I asked him to talk further on the advantages of the Kin. (and invited him to this article)

    Quote “wow you’re really ignorant. A few: The Loop, The Studio, the unique designs, the great cameras. There’s more, but ur not worth it.”

    So there you go. There must be many ignorant users on the net because he’s the first one who Ive seen praising the Kin.

    Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but Im convinced. 😉

    You can see the whole conversation in context over on Twitter.

  3. Chips B. Malroy says:

    All of the MS phone disasters (and Zune too) are built on Windows CE. No matter what MS wants to call it, be it Mobile, WinMo, Embedded Compact, Windows Phone 7, Pocket PC, or whatever MS wants to name it this week. The frequent name changes are also used on unloved products like Bing.

    There is a greater danger here with the naming with 7 involved now. While this will not be a problem for Phones, it maybe a problem for those thinking to buy ARM smartbooks. CE is a very old operating systems for phones, but MS is selling (or giving it away, who knows) for ARM Smartbooks and Tablets. By giving it a name like Windows Embedded Compact 7, windows desktop wallpaper, some people will be confused and buy this ARM computer devices. Its seems to me that this is the intention. Remember the “Vista Capable” lawsuits? This is worse, because Windows CE in all its many forms/names cannot run NT Intel based apps/programs/games. In fact there are very few apps in can run for actual ARM based programs that were not designed for phones.

    CE is very old OS. In fact, its built more like Windows 95 with no security features I can think of. Having only a 5% market on phones, CE has the 2nd highest rate of malware only behind leader Symbian. So much for the theory of safe by obscurity that windows fanboys use to say why other operating systems do not have as many Malware written for it.
    http://www.securelist.com/en/analysis?pubid=200119916

    Then there is the newest CE malware available:
    news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20006882-245.html
    “Someone has copied the programs and repackaged them with the malware inside, he said. Once the app is installed the virus wakes up and starts dialing premium-rate numbers like in Somalia and the South Pole, Hering said. He added that victims may not know about the problem until they get their phone bill and see that it’s $50 or $100 higher than it should be.
    Hering said Microsoft had been contacted about the issue, but that the problem is not due to any vulnerability in the Windows Mobile software and therefore can’t simply be patched.”

    Do we really want another wide open to malware Microsoft OS (CE) running on cheap ARM Smartbooks or Tablets? Its bad enough they are still on 5% of phones.

  4. Chips B. Malroy says:

    http://www.pcauthority.com.au/News/65154,windows-ce-wide-open-to-mobile-malware.aspx
    Windows CE wide open to mobile malware

    “The viruses currently in existence represent all the most dangerous types of malicious program: classic file viruses, email worms, backdoors and worms which are capable of moving from a handset to a desktop PC once connected,” he said.
    “Platforms based on Windows CE are growing in popularity and in a few years they may come to take the market share of mobile device operating systems, squeezing out Symbian.”
    The report goes on to note that Symbian is a more closed system than Windows CE, as it is harder and more expensive to create applications for the platform. ”
    ————————————————————————————————-
    The Kin basically uses Windows CE.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Mobile

    “Reports say that Microsoft Kin was originally going to be based on Windows Phone 7. However, due to delays with the latter, it will now be built directly upon Windows CE. It will feature the Zune marketplace, and use XNA as a game platform.”

    1. openbytes says:

      Firstly, Hi chips! Hope you are well!

      Completely right. It comes as something of a shock though that a company as big as Microsoft would release something as feeble as Kin. From the comments of other mainstream sites it doesn’t even seem to manage to cater for its target audience and looking at some of the reviews, I think it seems less of a “social networking phone” than my HTC with is designed for that and a diverse range of other apps too.

      Maybe the Kin is an example of the patent deal with HTC and others. I remember asking the question in an article a few months back….Is Microsoft’s ethos “If we can’t get people to buy our products, then we can get revenue from those people that do”?

      Regards
      Goblin.

  5. Chips B. Malroy says:

    Goblin:
    I also posted the first comment I made at:
    http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/desktop_mobile/windows_phone_7_should_be_used_for_tablets.html

    This comment at this time is being withheld, but I have my doubts that they will post it. As the last two comments I have made there did not get posts. Neither have I every used any bad language in my posts to be censored there. Guess they just don’t like my opinions, since they disagree with their online sponsers who pay for their advertisements.

    1. openbytes says:

      We can keep an eye out. In future you should consider taking screengrabs of the posts….thats what I do when I find sites with moderation.

  6. Chips B. Malroy says:

    Well, this comment did make it this time on MS Watch. They must be getting desperate for comments to post mine. The traffic is very light there.

  7. openbytes says:

    I would agree. Regardless of if people agreed with Joe or not, he seemed to pull in the readers…

    I also think in was in no small part to all of the Linux users who engaged in debate over on the site….It’s a shame Jo left and the forum dried up. It was ironic that a site called “Microsoft Watch” was a virtual meeting place for Linux users. I think the moderation doesn’t encourage commenters and I think if they removed that the Linux users would return.

    Lets not forget, the only time comments had to be removed for vulgarity under Joe Wilcox’s watch were those Microsoft faithful who didn’t know how to behave themselves.

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