Microsoft announces the Kin range of mobile phones

by Administrator | Apr 15, 2010

There have been persistent rumours, for many months, which stated that Microsoft were preparing to release an 'own-brand' phone, in much the same way that Google released the Nexus One. Speculation has been rife with regards to what the phone would be like, and how it would affect the already existing Windows phone market. Many commentators went on record to say that they feared Microsoft releasing their own phone would cause a break down of competition in the marketplace, for Windows phones. Many also stated that it would sour the relationships between Microsoft and their various hardware partners, as people may be more inclined to buy a Windows phone from the company that actually produces Windows.

Microsoft, however, have now officially announced their new Kin range of mobile phones, and it seems that the many fears of commentators have turned out to be unwarranted

Instead of announcing one mobile phone, Microsoft have announced two: the Kin One and the Kin Two. Since the official announcement, it has become clear that Microsoft intend to prevent the problem of these new mobile phones clashing with any existing Windows phones by aiming them at a very different sector of the market. As such, neither of the two new mobile phones, the Kin One or the Kin Two, are smartphones. Instead, they are feature phones, and seem to be aimed at the same market that the Sidekick range of devices was aimed at. This is no coincidence, because the key development team within Microsoft, who were responsible for developing the new Kin proposition, is made up of former employees from Danger, the company which originally designed the Sidekick, and which was bought by Microsoft in 2008.

However, in spite of the fact that both mobile phones are aimed at a different market to the traditional smartphone sector, Microsoft have given both phones a range of high level features, to make them more appealing to potential buyers. With the Kin One, the smaller of the two phones, Microsoft have included a five megapixel camera with LED flash, and 4GB of internal storage; and with the Kin Two, the more high end of the two devices, they have included an eight megapixel camera and 8GB of internal storage. Both mobile phones also feature multitouch-enabled capacitive touchscreens, which allow gesture controls, such as pinch-to-zoom in the web browser.

At the moment, Microsoft have not specified what operating system the two Kin mobile phones use, but it seems to be, at the very least, inspired by Windows Phone 7. However, as these phones are aimed at a different audience, it focuses on the social aspects of the phones, allowing users to keep their social feeds, such as Facebook and Twitter, up to date, directly from the home screen. It seems to be the case that the new Kin range of mobile phones are aimed very much at the same people who bought the Sidekick, a slightly younger user base who lead active social lives, and have a keen interest in online social networking.

image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abulhussain/

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