We haven’t heard much of Microsoft lately with all the iPad frenzy [wasn’t that fun!] and wondered just what they have been working on. It turns out they have busy working on a new kind of social media device (aka Window Phone) that targets the young social crowd. The Microsoft KIN ONE and KIN TWO have social networking already built into the phone and bring Facebook, Twitter and MySpace right on the main screen.
Both phones feature a camera, touch screen and slide-out keyboard. ONE is the smaller and compact one, easy to carry in a pocket and to operate with one hand. Its camera is 5MP and shoots SD video. It has 4GB of internal memory. Speaker is mono.
TWO has a larger screen and keyboard, more internal memory (8GB), a higher resolution camera (8MP), and shoots HD video in stereo sound.
Microsoft Ushers in the Next Generation of the Social Phone With KIN, a New Window Phone
Microsoft, Sharp, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone unveil KIN, a new Windows Phone designed for broadcasting and sharing everyday moments.
REDMOND, Wash. — April 12, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today announced KIN, a new Windows® Phone designed specifically for people who are actively navigating their social lives. Brought to life through partnerships with Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Sharp Corporation, KIN is designed to be the ultimate social experience that blends the phone, online services and the PC with breakthrough new experiences called the Loop, Spot and Studio. KIN will be exclusively available from Verizon Wireless in the U.S. beginning in May and from Vodafone this autumn in Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
“Working closely with our partners, we saw an opportunity to design a mobile experience just for this social generation — a phone that makes it easy to share your life moment to moment,” said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We built KIN for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family. This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most.”
A New Kind of Social Phone
With KIN, social networking is built into the fabric of the phone. KIN has a fun, simple interface, which is designed to help people publish the magazine of their life by making the people and stuff they love the focus rather than menus and icons. The unique hardware design was developed in partnership with Sharp to create a new kind of social phone. There are two models called KIN ONE and KIN TWO. Both phones feature a touch screen and slide-out keyboard. ONE is small and compact, making it a perfect fit for a pocket and to operate with one hand. TWO has a larger screen and keyboard, in addition to more memory, a higher resolution camera, and the ability to record high-definition video. The 5 and 8 megapixel cameras in ONE and TWO, respectively, are designed for use in low light with image stabilization and a bright LumiLED flash.
The New Way to Share
The home screen of the phone is called the KIN Loop, which is always up to date and always on, showing all the things happening in someone’s social world. KIN automatically brings together feeds from leading Microsoft and third-party services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all in one place, making it easier to stay connected. Customers can also select their favorite people, and KIN will automatically prioritize their status updates, messages, feeds and photos. Another unique feature, the KIN Spot is a new way for people to share what’s going on in their world. It lets them focus first on the people and stuff they want to share rather than the specific application they want to use. Videos, photos, text messages, Web pages, location and status updates are shared by simply dragging them to a single place on the phone called the Spot. Once all the people and content are in the Spot to share, the consumer can choose how to share, and start broadcasting.
Your Phone, on the Web
KIN Studio is your phone online. Almost everything created on the phone is available in the cloud from any Web browser. Photos and videos are freed from the confines of the phone and presented in an online visual timeline so they are easy to view and share. The KIN Studio automatically backs up texts, call history, photos, videos and contacts, and populates a personalized digital journal so it’s easy to go back in time to relive a crazy weekend or recent birthday. And the KIN Studio gives customers tons of storage to keep all those photos, videos, contacts and texts so they’ll never run out of space on their phone and lose a memory.
Music and More
KIN will be the first Windows Phone to feature a Zune experience — including music, video, FM radio and podcast playback. With a Zune Pass subscription, customers using Zune software on their PC can listen to millions of songs from Zune Marketplace on their KIN while on the go, or load their personal collection. KIN also has other features customers want in a phone including a rich browser with the ability to share pieces of the Web, local and Web search by Bing, and an RSS feed reader to pull down information on people and stories from the Web.
More information and a complete fact sheet on KIN are in the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/KIN.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.
Partner Quotes for KIN
“Sharp is excited to team with Microsoft as the exclusive handset manufacturer for the KIN phone. Combining Sharp’s cutting-edge LCD and mobile device technology with Microsoft’s cloud computing technology, KIN represents an innovative new mobile experience. It’s a fun, convenient way to keep connected and another example of how Sharp is committed to improving people’s lives with ubiquitous communications.”
– Mikio KatayamaGlobal President and COO, Sharp Corporation
“KIN represents a new way to stay connected. We are excited to take our relationship with Microsoft to the next level and be the exclusive carrier of KIN in the U.S.”
– John Harrobin, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Digital Media, Verizon Wireless
“Vodafone is delighted to further its partnership with Microsoft, bringing our customers Microsoft’s latest innovation — KIN. Mobile social networking is increasingly having strong appeal for our customers. KIN has a unique and intuitive way of engaging with the user, enabling them easily to share experiences and stay in touch with their friends. Our aim is to provide our customers with the widest choice of attractive smartphones and the best-in-class experience of new services through Vodafone’s high-speed mobile broadband network. This announcement continues to deliver on our ambition to be the strongest provider of data-centric mobile experiences across platforms and operating systems.”
– Patrick Chomet, Group Director of Terminals, Vodafone