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 – email@example.com
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