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Friday
May142010

Kin

I was in the process of writing a post about Windows Phone 7 and I was going to add a quick side note to say that it hasn't gone beyond my notice that Microsoft has also announced another line of phones. After it got longer than a quick side note, I thought I'd make a separate post...

Although I don't like the names (Kin One and Kin Two), and I really want a phone that I can make my own by installing 3rd party apps and the like, I'm still quite intrigued by the Kin devices. I could totally see my step-daughter using one, and if I'm being honest, I'd probably get one as a 2nd phone for myself if I had that kind of spare cash lying around by the time they reach the UK on Vodafone. The Kin Two has the better spec, but I can't help finding myself curiously attracted to the Kin One.

I particularly like the Kin Studio which is online storage that all of your photos and videos are automatically uploaded to from the Kin device. If you then what to share one of them, say via Facebook, the Kin will intelligently send it to Facebook from the Studio rather than uploading it again from the phone and taking up more bandwidth. It's a neat system and means that your content is always backed up off-device. If you're at all interested, I'd recommend checking out some of the videos from Kin.com, like this one:

[UPDATE] I should've said that the Kin phones are the spiritual successors to the T-Mobile Sidekick devices. Microsoft bought Danger, who made the Sidekick a while ago. These may have used the Sidekick brand, but that is the property of T-Mobile, who appear to be teaming up with HTC to create new devices under that branding. It's similar to the way that Verizon's Motorola Droid is called the Milestone in the rest of the world because Verizon own the Droid name (or licence it from LucasFilm), which is why you now have non-Motorola handsets on Verizon which use the Droid brand.

[UPDATE - 1st July 2010] Microsoft are killing off Kin. This is a statement from the company:

"Microsoft has made the decision to focus on the Windows Phone 7 launch and will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones."

I'm surprised that this has happened so early in the product's life, so I'm guessing that carrier support dissovled after poor uptake, due in part to the phones being overpriced.

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