Microsoft Launches Kin One And Kin Two – Can They Take On The iPhone?
For a long time, Microsoft was rumored to be working on its new line of mobile phones. The company has finally removed the wraps on "Project Pink" with the launch of two new devices – Kin One and Kin Two. Unlike popular perception, these devices are not exactly smartphones and are based on a Silverlight-based platform. The Kin series is expected to be targeted at the young social networking audience.
Here are some interesting notes from Microsoft's presentation yesterday:
- A unique square form factor with curved edges and includes a sliding QWERTY keyboard
- 4GB internal storage
- 5 megapixel camera with LED Flash
- QVGA display with capacitive touch screen and support for multi-touch
- Traditional rectangular form factor with a slider QWERTY keyboard
- 8GB internal storage
- 8 megapixel camera with LED flash and support for HD video
- HVGA display with capacitive touch screen that supports multi-touch
There are a few things that Microsoft claims would make the Kin handsets different from its rivals including the iPhone. Firstly, the device is built to simplify online networking. According to Derek Snyder, Product Manager for Kin at Microsoft, the Loop (Kin's equivalent of the Home Screen) is like a "magazine of one's life" and unlike the static icons on devices like the iPhone, provides the user with the latest updates from their contacts on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Secondly, Microsoft claims that the devices' internal storage capacity is irrelevant because the photo and video collection on the mobile phone is completely synced with the user's online storage.
Despite Kin's unique form factor and functional positioning, the phones fail to impress. The Kin devices do not support third party applications. We also found it strange that these phones don't have Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 OS running on them.
Kin One and Kin Two are expected to launch in the US in May with a Verizon contract. European users can expect the devices by fall via Vodafone.
Do you see these as potential iPhone killers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.