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Microsoft Unveils 'Pink' Phones As Kin One and Two

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the japanese-schoolgirls-have-moved-on dept.

Cellphones 278

adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft has recently launched two new phones known as the Kin One and Kin Two, previously codenamed 'Pink.' The phones are designed to appeal to social-networking-focused teens, which is probably why the marketing team has tried to spice up the packaging of the phones. According to a Microsoft official the phones are named Kin because they 'knit together ... kindred spirits.' The phones have a keyboard. The Kin One has a 5-megapixel camera, while the Kin Two's 8-megapixel camera can shoot 720p HD video. Both cameras include an LED flash. The One has a mono speaker, the Two's is stereo. One includes 4GB of on-board memory and the Two has 8GB. Both Kin phones have touch screens. According to the hands-on, the Kin phones are based on the same Windows CE core as Windows Phone 7, and they have an IE-based browser. These phones have no downloadable apps, no games, not even a calendar. They're not meant to be expandable smart phones; instead, very good messaging phones."

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278 comments

The tea leaves say.... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#31837410)


"No apps. Less functionality than an iPhone. Lame."
See, Taco, this is how you make correct prophecies...

.

Want a higher place in heaven? Suffer now. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837862)

"No apps. Less functionality than an iPhone. Lame."

Yes, but you get something you don't get with Apple. You get abused by Microsoft.

Is this the Windows Vista of phones, the Windows ME of phones, or the Zune of phones?

Re:Want a higher place in heaven? Suffer now. (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 4 years ago | (#31838084)

lol what? you';re abused less by apple than MS? this is like telling X person that you like them better than Y person because they're newer.

flavors of the same.

"very good messaging phones"... (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | about 4 years ago | (#31837470)

...and yet, apparently, without any way to do IM (at least Wikipedia page and links there about them says so)

Seriously, WTF? I could understand their lack of expandability, software-wise (especially if the price is right), if the "social" package they provide is right (though by no means unique - see INQ phones). But no IM? How did that get through?

Re:"very good messaging phones"... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837512)

A deal between the manufacturer and the carrier(s), because you are probably going to have data(of which IM uses little), but you might not have unlimited text messages yet.

Re:"very good messaging phones"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837852)

It has twitter and text messaging. Why do you need IM on top of that?

Re:"very good messaging phones"... (4, Funny)

jonnythan (79727) | about 4 years ago | (#31837988)

IM is basically worthless if you have SMS.

SMS > IM.

Re:"very good messaging phones"... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838038)

On which planet would this be?

Re:"very good messaging phones"... (1)

nlawalker (804108) | about 4 years ago | (#31838074)

How so? Don't carriers require you to pay through the nose for SMS, where IM would be part of the data connection you already pay for?

Re:"very good messaging phones"... (1)

Mia'cova (691309) | about 4 years ago | (#31838130)

It'll be targeted towards the unlimited texting crowd, similar to the sidekick.

Re:"very good messaging phones"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838178)

Most people I know who use/used the Sidekick use it for IM, too.

Re:"very good messaging phones"... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838292)

Wait, SMS, the IM protocol which you cannot easily use on a computer, has no support for status messages, limits messages to 160 characters, and costs money to use? What IM protocol has trouble beating that?

Way to go (3, Interesting)

Kranerian (1427183) | about 4 years ago | (#31837478)

"These phones have no downloadable apps, no games, not even a calendar. They're not meant to be expandable smart phones; instead very good messaging phones."

Nice job, Microsoft. Way to ignore the growing trends in favor of your own way. After all, you certainly know better than those lousy consumers.

In all fairness, though, they'll probably sell like hotcakes in the niche market they're designed for. I just don't see it as a very big market.

Re:Way to go (2, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#31837544)


In all fairness, though, they'll probably sell like hotcakes in the niche market they're designed for.

They'll be the first (and last) phone which has MILEY in its A9 dictionary.

Re:Way to go (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 4 years ago | (#31837648)

Tweens and Teens sounds like a pretty big market to me. Depending on the price they'll either do alright or fail miserably. If Jr want's a $200 smart phone but one of these can be had for $50 you can bet there's going to be a lot of parents that take something like this as a compromise. If the options are spend $400 (+$30 per month) or something at a more reasonable price that gets by with a smaller data plan, parents will jump all over it (lest they be labeled 'bad parents' by their kids for not getting them what they want).

Time will tell, we don't really know enough about the phones to say much at the moment. To me they look like the almost-but-not-quite smart phones that are already on the market today. MS might be too late to the party to see major sales.

Re:Way to go (1)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | about 4 years ago | (#31838364)

In the UK you get better phones free with a pay as you go plan. If your offering is worse than free, then you've lost, badly.

Re:Way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837764)

>Nice job, Microsoft.

Nice pun, Kranerian.

Re:Way to go (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 years ago | (#31837796)

In all fairness, though, they'll probably sell like hotcakes in the niche market they're designed for. I just don't see it as a very big market.

I'm guessing that niche is "parents who can be convinced by advertising that they're buying what their kids want".

Re:Way to go (4, Funny)

Applekid (993327) | about 4 years ago | (#31838290)

I'm guessing that niche is "parents who can be convinced by advertising that they're buying what their kids want".

It worked for Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge...

Re:Way to go (5, Insightful)

painandgreed (692585) | about 4 years ago | (#31837964)

"These phones have no downloadable apps, no games, not even a calendar. They're not meant to be expandable smart phones; instead very good messaging phones."

Nice job, Microsoft. Way to ignore the growing trends in favor of your own way. After all, you certainly know better than those lousy consumers.

In all fairness, though, they'll probably sell like hotcakes in the niche market they're designed for. I just don't see it as a very big market.

Actually, it's probably a good move for the same reasons that the iPhone was a good move. Smartphones, while growing still aren't the majority of the market. Lots of people want "just a phone". Kids, however, want messaging, but the parents that pay for it probably don't want smart phone fees or for that matter, connection to the internet. There was a story on /. just yesterday by a parent asking how to filter his teenage kids access to the internet. It seems like a perfectly valid market that is probably no more niche than smartphones. Not everybody needs or wants a smart phone, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who want a messaging phone. I think the real test will be if it followed good design and they are indeed "very good messaging phones."

Re:Way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838494)

The problem with this is going to be that it'll need some sort of data plan in order to be useful. And, as someone already pointed out, this thing's going to need reasonably decent parts. That interface which looks like a fucked graphics card running at 640x480x4 bit also has to compete with low-end Android phones, which have a UI looking like their expensive counterparts.

With that age group though, it all boils down to marketing. And MS is going to need a lot of it with the iPhone currently being the 'in' thing.

Driving? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837488)

Gotta love the teens driving vid on the kin.com site.

I just can't wait!

Designed to Fail (1, Insightful)

gdavidp (709900) | about 4 years ago | (#31837490)

So with peer pressure today, what kid in their right mind is going to want this phone? It isn't an iPhone or a BlackBerry... This will be a failure, just like the Zune.

Re:Designed to Fail (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837836)

Kids don't use blackberries.

Re:Designed to Fail (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | about 4 years ago | (#31838016)

Your projecting your needs onto teens. Worst kind of marketing mistake. Not sure if you've noticed, but teens haven't been buying smart phones. Text messaging, sending pictures/audio/video, those are their core needs. Most cheap phones do that. Toss in the ability to browse Facebook or whatever, play some music, store embarrassing pictures of friends and you've got them covered. Email and dozens of apps are extras not really needed. So why would a teen get an iPhone, much less a Blackberry? If you've got the money, sure, go for a true smart phone for the coolness factor if that's your thing. If money matters, these are very cleverly positioned. If anything kills them, it's the MS connection.

Re:Designed to Fail (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | about 4 years ago | (#31838138)

If anything kills them, it's the MS connection.

Why would the tween-teen market give a damn about the geek's distate for anything Microsoft?

Re:Designed to Fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838314)

If anything kills them, it's the MS connection.

Why would the tween-teen market give a damn about the geek's distate for anything Microsoft?

Maybe because they saw the zune and compared it to the iPod?

Re:Designed to Fail (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 4 years ago | (#31838334)

Why would the tween-teen market give a damn about the geek's distate for anything Microsoft?

It's not just the tween-teen market - The market in general doesn't give a damn about geekdom's hate on for "M$." Hell, I read /. regularly, and even I'm astounded at the amount of energy the /. universe puts into hating M$. If only they could put that energy into getting a haircut, some nice shoes and meeting a girl...

Re:Designed to Fail (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | about 4 years ago | (#31838410)

So why would a teen get an iPhone

Because iPhones are cool, and kids want to be cool and have cool stuff. It really is that simple. Different example, from a few decades ago: Levis 501 jeans with the red tag were the only cool, acceptable jeans in my school. Wearing something like Toughskins [associatedcontent.com] from Sears would get you laughed at, and possibly beaten just for the fun of it because there was a reasonable certainty that the kid in them was a lot less tough than the jeans themselves.

I shudder at the memories ...

Seriously? (3, Insightful)

jimmyhat3939 (931746) | about 4 years ago | (#31837492)

I just can't take these products seriously. Instead of this niche marketing, microsoft needs to focus on something with broad appeal. There's a reason iPhone beat them in that space, and this is exactly it.

Re:Seriously? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837710)

microsoft needs to focus on something with broad appeal. There's a reason iPhone beat them in that space, and this is exactly it.

It appeals to broads?

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837832)

Mod up!! Mod up!!

Re:Seriously? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838018)

Well, how would Microsoft do that? They just don't have a history of delivering an market-winning product into a strongly competed field. It's not what they're good at.

Xbox worked because game consoles have captive games. Windows works because of equivalent lock-in. How do they do that in phones, without ending up with another Zune?

Re:Seriously? (1)

rev_sanchez (691443) | about 4 years ago | (#31838500)

I think it's so much worse than that. With the Zune/HD and and it's new phone offerings Microsoft is trying to out-Apple Apple and they are terrible at it. Not only do they come out with hardware that is a generation behind what Apple has out in the market:
- big old iPod (a few years later) big old Zune
- skinny iPod (a few years later) skinny Zune
- iPod touch (a couple of years later) Zune HD
- iPhone (a couple of years later) this thing

Not only are they late to market copycats but they don't execute nearly as well as Apple. While the hardware is arguely a bit better in the Zune HD compared to an iPod touch there aren't many apps for it because they've made it nearly as hard, if not harder, for third parties to release apps for the Zune HD and they don't have the marketshare to pull off that kind of douchebaggery. The postion they should have taken is what Google did with the Nexus 1 and make it easier to develop and release software for it. One of Microsoft/PC strengths in the early days was that it was a more open development platform than what Apple had to offer.

I don't think there is real hope of Microsoft's new phone really competing with the iPhone or Nexus 1 but if they really want to make a go of it get then they need mindshare. To do that they start with the Zune HD if that's the platform they're going to build on by adding a microphone, adding speech to text, sponsoring a Skype client, adding a camera, and give developers something more interesting to do than make yet another twitter client.

Doesn't really make sense... (1)

nweaver (113078) | about 4 years ago | (#31837514)

It has all the costs to make of any other smartphone, because OS wise it is a smartphone. So it can't be cheaper than any other smartphone.

If anything, its more expensive because there is no app-related revenue.

So how does Microsoft expect to compete? Just lose more money at something?

Re:Doesn't really make sense... (5, Interesting)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#31837980)

I suspect that since it has no downloadable apps, that "bleeding edge" isnt really a concern.

Only needs a CPU good enough to run the included apps. Probably dont even need a GPU. With application control, you also get reliable antialiasing (only fonts that look good included) so perhaps a regular 100DPI display may be good enough (iphones and recent ipods sport a 200DPI display, if I am not mistaken,) the battery probably wont need to be nearly as good, the memory probably doesnt need to be nearly as fast either...

There are probably lots of ways to cut costs here without sacrificing much beyond that initial sacrifice: no downloadable apps

The iphone reportedly costs ~$200 in parts

Microsoft has lost it (3, Interesting)

rsborg (111459) | about 4 years ago | (#31837522)

Whatever they do now seems to be a pale caricature of reality... why is this the case?
Were they always this clueless?

It's sad... so much talent.

Re:Microsoft has lost it (0, Troll)

AlexBirch (1137019) | about 4 years ago | (#31838330)

They tried to innovate instead of imitate.
Microsoft is amazing at imitation: word, excel, powerpoint, X-Box, C#, Windows, etc. When Microsoft imitates, they are second to none. What happens when they innovate, they end up with Vista, instead of copying OS X with 7.

My all-time favorite creations are the Zune and Clippy.

The Peter Principle (5, Funny)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#31838368)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle [wikipedia.org] ...in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their "level of incompetence"), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions. This principle can be modeled and has theoretical validity. Peter's Corollary states that "in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties" and adds that "work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence".

In the corporate world especially, upper level politics and kickbacks and alliances always end up chucking creativity out the door, grinding it into the pavement, and writing off as an R&D expense as it's scooped into the dust bin.

Google avoids this by letting employees work on their own pet projects that get picked up for major development as they gain popularity in their internal culture, which seems to be quite good at picking winners. Apple has so far escaped this only because it's run like North Korea. There's one maniacal prick and marketing genius at the top of the food chain, and everyone else is meaningless.

Potential... (5, Interesting)

DevStar (943486) | about 4 years ago | (#31837524)

When I first saw the phones I thought "loser". I was comparing it to the iPhone, Nexus One, WP7, etc...

But then it became more apparent that it's competing against the EnV and the Rage. What Verizon calls MultiMedia phones. It will likely be on the lower priced data plan (or maybe they'll make one between teh $10 and $30/month package). Given a choice between an EnV or a Kin, the Kin is an easy choice. If MS were to clean up the multimedia phone space at Verizon, I think you'll suddenly begin to see a new market emerge. Although it's a surprisingly tough market, because I think a lot of it hinges on the data center and carrier integration.
Watch how this plays out. I think it possibly flops, but could be iPhone like huge, but to a totally different market.

Re:Potential... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 years ago | (#31838240)

The only thing I can see is the lack of flexibility that kills it. Right now Twitter and Facebook are all the rage but a few years ago, it was myspace. The smartphones are flexible so that you can just get another app. What will happen to the users of this phone if the social networks change?

Re:Potential... (2, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | about 4 years ago | (#31838528)

What will happen to the users of this phone if the social networks change?

Not a problem, most kids will trade in their phones every couple of years of so anyway.

Slashdot late as ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837546)

This article has clearly been posted 12 days late. Good one though.

Kin dle? (2, Interesting)

AtlantaSteve (965777) | about 4 years ago | (#31837564)

We know that Apple protects their branding to a ridiculous degree... essentially arguing that any name with an "i" in front it threatens their intellectual property. So I wonder if Amazon will have anything to say about this new product? If I saw a news story about the "Kin Two", and the headline didn't qualify it as a Microsoft thing, my first assumption would be that it's a new version of Amazon's ebook reader.

Re:Kin dle? (2, Funny)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | about 4 years ago | (#31837688)

Maybe they should swap the 'Kin' and 'One' around. Rename it the "One Kin". People wont know what you are 'Two Kin' about. Just wait for the 'Four Kin'.

Maybe then we can have the Microsoft 'fucking' and 'wanking' phones.

Re:Kin dle? (1)

InlawBiker (1124825) | about 4 years ago | (#31838616)

Two things. And I call them
Kin One and Kin Two.
These Things will not bite you.
They want to have fun."
Then, out of the box
Came Kin Two and Kin One

And Sally and I
Did not know what to do.
So we had to take hand
Of Kin One and Kin Two.
We took them in our hand.
But our fish said, "No! No!
Those Things should not be
In this house! Make them go!
"They should not be here
When your mother is not!
Put them out! Put them out!"
Said the fish in the pot.

Kin? Pink? (4, Interesting)

Rantastic (583764) | about 4 years ago | (#31837590)

Is it just me, or do the marketing folks at Microsoft have some serious deficiencies when it comes to naming products? Lets not forget The Monad Shell.

I guess this is what happens when they try to be creative. Otherwise everything is called either Windows, Business, or Office Something.

Re:Kin? Pink? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837942)

You forgot:
"Active", "Direct", "Explorer", and "X"

Re:Kin? Pink? (1)

secolactico (519805) | about 4 years ago | (#31837962)

Lets not forget The Monad Shell

Wasn't Monad just a code name? Besides, what's wrong with that name? It's certainly not worse than Cairo, Chicago or Vista.

Monad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838238)

sounds like "gonad."

Re:Monad... (2, Informative)

dwiget001 (1073738) | about 4 years ago | (#31838412)

"Monad" -- a condition where you have a single (instead of paired) gonad, due to birth defect, accident, etc.

Re:Kin? Pink? (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#31837994)

"Monad" was actually a reasonably clever Leibniz reference. Frankly "Powershell" is far, far worse(though I suppose it dodges the "Hur, hur, it rhymes with 'Gonad shell'" problem, which is probably why the change was made).

This "kin" stuff is just blah.

8GB (-1, Troll)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 4 years ago | (#31837604)

8GB required just to be a good "messaging phone". Say what you like, but that's new world record in bloat by the market leader. :)

Re:8GB (2, Insightful)

dave562 (969951) | about 4 years ago | (#31837826)

The phone takes 720p HD video. It also has speakers and so I'm going to make a wild ass guess here and suggest that it plays MP3s also.

Microsoft - will surface save their dieing mobile (1, Interesting)

irreverant (1544263) | about 4 years ago | (#31837634)

I recently purchased the HD2, it'd be a great phone had it not crapped out on my the third day, I would be happy with it. Android has taking a big share of the mobile market, I just hate it because it's more of a niche market - more for the social-network user - i don't care for rsa and do enjoy the windows platform; i like that i can use it as a gps modem with my laptop (ICS) some call it tethering, the only saving grace for the phone is it's huge screen which dwarfs most phones. Microsoft needs to get their "ish" together and make a reliable stable mobile platform. I don't want to choose between the iPhone, Android, or Blackberry only because no one else will step up.

Re:Microsoft - will surface save their dieing mobi (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 4 years ago | (#31837738)

Why Android is "more for the social-network user" compared to WinMo?

Oh, and you can tether with both iPhone and Android.

Re:Microsoft - will surface save their dieing mobi (1)

irreverant (1544263) | about 4 years ago | (#31837906)

Because, let's be honest, they do a much better job and social-networking functions then WinMo, what they don't do better is an all around Mobile business platform. I consider my new phone more of an ultra-ultra portable that happens to run a poor version of windows, it was interesting to find that some hackers had been able to load windows 7 on the device... promising.

Re:Microsoft - will surface save their dieing mobi (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 4 years ago | (#31838264)

Because, let's be honest, they do a much better job and social-networking functions then WinMo, what they don't do better is an all around Mobile business platform.

Do you mean the fact that WinMo development tools are more enterprise-centric (SQL sync, datasets, drag & drop RAD UI designer, all that stuff)?

Because, feature-wise at least, I don't see why an Android phone couldn't be use in the same fashion.

Kids these days... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31837798)

Are kids these days really SOOO obsessed with their facbook/twitter accounts that they have the urge to 'share' *everything* they encounter with their *friends*?! If so SMS/MMS work just fine for them and does not require them or their friends to have a *special* phone.
The ads/videos are absolutely horrible - who came up with this? Feeling disconnected because you didn't have your phone for weekend? Sad.

Re:Kids these days... (1)

Mia'cova (691309) | about 4 years ago | (#31838320)

I feel disconnected when I forget my phone when I go to the bathroom. A full weekend? I'd probably kill myself.

Kin (2, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#31837834)

"Kin"?

Well, at least it'll sell well in Appalachia, enabling teens to keep track of which cousins are dating which.

IM Support (4, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | about 4 years ago | (#31837868)

It looks like the bet they're making is that including Facebook and Twitter support is a complete replacement for the traditional IM client. I'm not so sure that decision is so terrible from a marketing perspective. The trend I'm seeing is that old school IM clients just aren't as popular among less serious users nowadays; I get Facebook messages from all sorts of people I know would never bother getting a "real" IM account, or who have never figured out they already have one via Gmail.

Ultimately the real limitations of this phone aren't going to apparent until the matching data plan is announced. How much it will cost to download all the Twilight ringtones and background images that will obviously be introduced for this phone? These are the important questions. So far we already know that updates from some sites are put into 15 minute batches [engadget.com], presumably to same on network bandwidth, which doesn't bode well.

Re:IM Support (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#31838102)

The slightly more pessimistic hypothesis would be that IM is basically SMS; but without the length restrictions and billed as "data" rather than "text". Leaving IM out probably increases the phone's attractiveness to carriers.

Particularly if they are trying to move this thing as a cheaper "teen" alternative to the smartphone proper(just as the sidekick was the cheaper alternative to the blackberry), they'll need carrier cooperation in the form of somewhat cheaper data plans. Leaving out IM, and thus padding SMS usage, might well be the quasi-hidden subsidy that they need to make that happen.

Re:IM Support (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | about 4 years ago | (#31838144)

Remember those times in which random strangers added you constantly as a friend in your IM client? It was so annoying, a lot of people (Acquaintances or not) added you to have conversations like this one:
- hi
- Hey
- wassup
- Nothing really...
- wat u doin
- Browsing Slashdot.
- oh

Well, at some point those idiots disappeared from my IM client (WLM in my case) but, lo and behold, they're back in Facebook! Relatively cool people (or not really so much but who added you anyway) come up with that shit again! So, no. I don't want a Facebook IM on my cellphone. Just what I needed.... Getting annoyed on the road.
I guess what I'm trying to say is those phones suck big time.

Simple and Elegant (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | about 4 years ago | (#31837908)

"These phones have no downloadable apps, no games, not even a calendar. They're not meant to be expandable smart phones; instead very good messaging phones." Because no one does a simple and elegant device like Microsoft. This will be a roaring success... when compared to the UMPC [wikipedia.org].

hehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838064)

The guy kept looking up... waiting... for applause just to not get any :P
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocpOEhSmPyA [youtube.com]
I can't get excited about these and that is not because I'm too old (28) - Microsoft needs to fire their marketing department.

Dr. Seuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838122)

Microsoft, it seems, hired Dr. Seuss for their marketing department. It's hard to market devices like these, though.

There's so many things
That these phones do not do.
Many, many things missing
From Kin One and Kin Two.

Someone should write a full hands-on review in this Dr. Seuss style.

"Don't buy one if there's not enough apps for you
No, they're not expandable, not Kin 1 or Kin 2."

Makes the Zune Look Good (1, Troll)

twmcneil (942300) | about 4 years ago | (#31838158)

Well this is one way to stop people from saying "Zune is the suckiest thing ever".

I am curious though, where are all the MS astro-turfers that usually hit this type of article so early and so hard? Is Mechanical Turk down?

Re:Makes the Zune Look Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838484)

I am curious though, where are all the MS astro-turfers that usually hit this type of article so early and so hard?

Good question! Also where are all these terrorists and molesters that are supposedly around every corner? I walked down the street and didnt get touched or exploded once! Even the aliens haven't been by to probe me! Where could they be?

Very ugly (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 4 years ago | (#31838194)

I know I'm a geek and I'm by no way saying I can do better (I can't) but that just looks like something a nerd designed to look cool. It just doesn't work. A lot of PC software / hardware suffers from this and probably because designers like Macs so PC companies get left with geeky looking things. Imo, MS has never designed an OS that you enjoy looking at and aside from a few of their mice, none of their hardware ever looks that nice either.

I really don't like that whole idea of the app screen being larger than the screen and you end up sliding things about to see stuff. Again, it looks like it was designed by someone who wanted to code that, not someone who coded something a designer created.

They need to start paying some serious cash to steal designers away from Apple or something. They just don't get it, imo. The egg shaped one looks like a iPhone and Blackberry's retarded child. To be fair the rectangular one isn't too bad but nothing says cool about it.

Re:Very ugly (1)

McBeer (714119) | about 4 years ago | (#31838654)

I really don't like that whole idea of the app screen being larger than the screen and you end up sliding things about to see stuff. They need to start paying some serious cash to steal designers away from Apple or something.

You do realize that once you have a sufficient number of apps, the iPhone app panel works just like the Kin one right?

They just don't get it, imo. The egg shaped one looks like a iPhone and Blackberry's retarded child. To be fair the rectangular one isn't too bad but nothing says cool about it.

I've read quite a few articles on this thing. Interestingly, the Kin 1 (egg shaped one), is getting all the good press and the Kin 2 (candy bar) is being derided as just another blah blah smart phone form factor. While I too am more attracted to the Kin 2 form factor, I think MS really did their homework and the Kin 1 will prove to be more popular among the devices target audience. Somebody here doesn't get it, but it isn't MS.

Teens* + cameras... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838206)

The Kin One has a 5-Megapixel camera, while the Kin Two’s 8-Megapixel camera can shoot 720p HD video.

Awesome! I can’t wait for the homemade porn.

* For values of “teen” equaling 18 or 19, of course.

Azure Data Grab (3, Insightful)

Yuioup (452151) | about 4 years ago | (#31838218)

From what I could understand from the presentation, everything goes through Azure.

Which means that all the posts you make go through Microsoft's data centers before they get posted on facebook/twitter/whatever.

This is all just a scheme for Microsoft to gather user data and to monetize on it. A data-grab scheme, plain and simple.

Tag this: Do Not Want

Y

At least they're innovating at some level (1)

sootman (158191) | about 4 years ago | (#31838244)

It's only a small thing (no pun intended) but this form factor (1 [pcmag.com], 2 [pcmag.com]) is, if nothing else, pretty different from everything else we've seen so far. I doubt it'll be enough to save the line, but at least someone, somewhere is trying new stuff.

Re:At least they're innovating at some level (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 4 years ago | (#31838464)

I could accept the small one if it was also... say... a Tamogatchi. If you could hang the phone on a necklace, it's screen was on all the time, and it could show your mood. Or display your horoscope. Or if it could do *anything*. But it doesn't seem to be for anything at all. It's too small to use for the web realistically, and while I'm sure kids can twitter with it, there are better phones in that mindspace.

So much money, so much power... (1)

tekrat (242117) | about 4 years ago | (#31838300)

And Microsoft still can't make a decent product if their lives depended upon it. I fail to understand how a company that always hires "the best and the brightest" can make such lousy decisions. Seriously, what middle manager or marketing suit looked at this turd and said "killer! -- this is hot!"

Unless this phone is going to be DIRT CHEAP (as in free with a new contract), it's doomed to fail. Kids do not want "low end", they want what they see the celebrities using on MTV. And Rihanna isn't going to be using one of these, she's going to use an iPhone or Blackberry.

How MS continues to strive for mediocrity (and even fails at that) I have to wonder. You would think with all the talent, money and power they control that someone there would be able to convince them they need to make a GREAT product, not a below average product.

Is Steve Jobs really that much of a magician that Apple can come out with really innovative products and market them successfully, or is just that the rest of corporate America has their heads so far up their own asses they couldn't see a good product if you beat them senseless with it?

Slashdot or Gizmodo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31838308)

Seriously... so many stories today are about vendor product releases. I fail to see how this fits the raison d'etre for Slashdot. You're watering down the content in an attempt to rival Gizmodo and Engadget and it's starting to become annoying. A watered down Slashdot is becoming increasingly less worthy of my time.

A Blackberry for young people? (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 4 years ago | (#31838324)

It's sort of like a Blackberry for young people. Or the Hasbro/Tiger Clueless Organizer [hasbro.com], version 2.0.

It's about time for the toy companies to move into the phone space.

Very odd event and phones (1)

edelbrp (62429) | about 4 years ago | (#31838350)

I followed the event online [cnet.com], it was very strange (check out that ugly ass bus!) The presentation right down to the clothes was odd. The phones are pretty ugly (imho) and the packaging looks like cheap body spray would be inside.

The interview [cnet.com] was also interesting. My favorite quote:

Bach: From a marketplace standpoint, there's certainly a video and music marketplace. There isn't an app marketplace...

In other words, they don't have the money or effort to create a competitive app store, but it's a hell of a lot easier to sell the existing catalog of video and music.

Keep in mind this was only 2 year project (can't find the reference to that again, though...) and might have had some financial backing from the big social sites which are featured on the phones (Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace). They are basically simple, cheap phones for teenagers (they mention giving them to a 13 and 17 year girls to use).

Re:Very odd event and phones (1)

Mia'cova (691309) | about 4 years ago | (#31838650)

Microsoft already has an app store for windows mobile. This isn't the win phone 7 / iphone / android / blackberry market.

In other words, Microsoft is entering into the "feature phone / messaging phone / multimedia phone" market. Prior to this, they've only been making a smart phone OS.

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