Microsoft Kin Phone Introduction And User Guide by imkylexy

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									Microsoft Kin Phone Introduction And User Guide

Microsoft Ushers in the Next Generation of the
Social Phone With KIN, a New Windows Phone
Microsoft's Project Pink—sorry, Kin—in a sentence: It's the phone I'd beg my mom for if I was 15 again. And
didn't want an iPhone.
The gawky teenage offspring of Windows Phone 7 and the Sidekick comes to Verizon this May. Kin isn't a
smartphone. It doesn't run apps; you can't install programs. It's a hyper-connected social networking phone
aimed at teenagers, hipsters and Perez Hilton. It's the Zune Phone, come to life, plugged into Facebook and
Twitter and... MySpace, pulling all of your friends and feeds into a single stream. It's fundamentally designed
to share stuff—photos, videos, whatever—with people in a way that no phone out there comes remotely
close to. It's the most seamlessly connected phone on the planet. But it's not for you.
Microsoft made a curious decision, one we'll consider in greater depth later, to actively segment their
audience with two completely different phone platforms—one for everybody, and then another aimed at
Facebook-addicted teens (and older), though that's what Microsoft is doing. In development for years, it's
built on the same core as Windows Phone 7, and shares some features—totally cloud-based contacts, with
Zune providing the music and video experience—but is effectively a completely different platform. Still, even
project lead Roz Ho calls Kin a "new member of the Windows Phone family."
The Phones: Kin One and Kin Two
There are two phones, both made by Sharp, who made the Hiptop phones you better know as Sidekicks:




Kin One, formerly codenamed Turtle, is the more interesting of the two phones, a squircle-shaped slider that
literally fits in the palm of your hand. It's got the least impressive specs—a tinyish 320x240 screen, 5
megapixel camera, VGA video recording, 4GB of non-expandable storage, less RAM.
Kin Two, aka Pure, is a pretty standard looking slider that looks like it could've come from any Korean
maker, but the specs are beefier: 480x320 screen, 8 megapixel camera, 720p video recording, 8GB non-
expandable storage. Both run on Nvidia's Tegra, as previously rumored.
For the most part, Tegra's able to power the whole experience, which is slickly animated, with lots of slides
and swoops, just like Zune HD and Windows Phone 7, pretty nicely. On Kin One, we noticed a little bit of
stuttering, nothing deal-breaking though. The camera shots, from what we've seen, fall in the "very good"
range of cellphone camera quality. Both have thoroughly awesome keyboards, based on our quick usage.
They're both pretty plasticky too, but not in an unexpected or bad way.


Hands-On Gallery




UPDATE: Hands-on videos are HERE
So, Uh, What Does a Social Networking Phone Really Do?
Kin's got three headline features: the Loop, the Spot and the Studio. If you've checked outWindows Phone 7
and its Live Tiles, the Loop will seem sorta familiar—it's basically your favorite people and feeds, with their
statuses updated in real time (well, sorta, it's more like every 15 minutes unless you force a refresh) on your
home screen. It's the first thing you see when you turn the phone on, and unlike a standard Twitter timeline,
it has a collage-y look to it.
Like Palm's WebOS and Android 2.0, it integrates all of your contacts from Facebook and MySpace and
Windows Live. There's no Facebook or MySpace app, because everything is integrated. Your profile
picture's on the phone, and you can update Twitter, Facebook and MySpace simultaneously, for instance.
The latest status updates from the friends you actually like show up in the Loop, but you can also deep dive
into their profile, swiping to the right, where you can see all of their info from Facebook or MySpace or
whatever.


The Spot is one of Pink's unique UI features—a dot, or spot, I suppose, permanently affixed at the bottom
center of the screen, you drag anything you want to share, from websites to photos to videos to status
updates, down to the Spot, along with the people you wanna share it with, and it's zapped over via the
medium of your choice, like MMS or Facebook or email.


The Studio is the online portion of Kin, a website where all of your info is backed up, and you can view it like
a timeline, with photos, messages, videos, call history and more arranged in grouped collages. Built on
Silverlight, it's oddly perhaps the most impressive part of Kin, creating the most seamless phone-to-PC-to-
cloud experience ever. Everything—every photo, every video, every message—is backed up in full
resolution, with geotagging (so you can view all your photos on a Bing map), to Studio. (Which means that
8GB of storage goes a lot farther than it would otherwise, since the cloud is your storage.) Every change,
like adding contacts, you make in Studio is automatically synced to your phone. And it can do just about
everything your phone can, like share via the Spot or check out the Loop. Simply put, Studio is the model for
what an internet-connected phone experience should be like.
Speaking of, Zune supplies the music and video experience. The killer feature? Music streaming over 3G
and Wi-Fi, with full support for Zune Pass, so you have an instant connection to basically everything in the
Zune library. (It's possible there'll be some kind of discount or package for the Zune Pass, but Microsoft is
staying sealed on pricing.) It makes the iTunes model look positively archaic.


Oh, and BIG NEWS. There's a Mac syncing client. It's not a full Zune app, but it will let you sideload your
iTunes and iPhoto pictures from your Mac onto the Kin. No, it doesn't work with Zune HD yet. No, Microsoft
won't say if it'll work with Windows Phone 7. But we're hopeful.


Kin UI Gallery




The Basics... and What's Missing
The browser is a version of Internet Explorer, a souped version of the one on the Zune HD. It's got a
standard email app that's the same core as Windows Phone 7 with ActiveSync and IMAP and POP (but re-
skinned and with a limit of six email accounts). And of course, it uses Bing for Search, which is built in.


A few things are missing that might surprise you. Apps, like I said. But also any kind of calendar program
(you can set basic alarms, though). And, for now, bizarrely, any way to upload photos to Twitter—photos are
just for Facebook and MySpace for now.


There are no Facebook events. There's no basic GPS map for giving directions—just Bing maps for looking
at photo tags, etc. For Bing maps, you have to go to the m.bing.com site in the browser, and of course you
lose GPS when you do that. Strangely enough, there's no HTML formatting for emails, so many of your
incoming messages might look awful.


No Xbox Live, like Windows Phone. Or games, period. A massive potential dealbreaker.


Worst of all for this crowd, there's no web video. No YouTube. As John Herrman says, "That's a big catch."


Where and When You Can Get It
The only thing we know so far is that it's coming to Verizon exclusively in May, and Vodafone in Europe in
the fall. Microsoft and Verizon aren't talking about any kind of pricing—phones, plans, anything—but given
the specs, it's clear that Kin Two is going to be more expensive than Kin One. Given the target audience,
we'd be surprised if that was over $150.




   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.




    KIN is a new social experience from Microsoft
    Corp. that combines the phone, online services
                     and the PC.
              Click for larger version


   “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
athttp://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 athttp://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

								
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