Micorsoft introduces two Mobile Phones meant for social networking-savvy youth, in an attempt to revitalise its mobile business and regain ground on iPhones and BlackBerrys. The two new touch-screen phones are a short, square-shaped handset called Kin One and a longer, more rectangular one called Kin Two.
According to the Microsoft that the company studied consumer habits and then built the activities they used most often into the phones. For instance, in a demo the Kin’s home screen showed a live stream of updates to social networks that can be clicked on and responded to. Users can send photos and other material to people by dragging it onto a little circle at the bottom of the screen. A finger swipe across the screen can then bring up a page with apps such as photos and music.
Both Kins are black with screens that respond to multiple finger gestures. The shorter Kin One has a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the bottom, while the Kin Two has a full QWERTY keyboard that comes out from its side.
The handsets include WiFi and cameras capable of taking higher-resolution photos than most handsets.The Kin One will include a 5 mega pixel camera, while the Kin Two will have a 8 mega pixel camera. The Kin Two will also be capable of shooting HD video.Neither has a memory card slot; instead, the phones will upload content to a Kin online storage service to free up memory.
Roz Ho, leader of the Microsoft team behind the Kin, said the company has been working on the devices for several years, trying to create a handset for people who want to connect with others over social Web sites such as Facebook.
The phones are also meant for people who want a handset that works simply, without forcing them to hunt through menus.That setup could also present a risk. Unlike other smart phones, the Kins won’t have access to an app store that let customers download programs.
The Kin phones will be made available online for sale in early May,2010. However, Microsoft has not yet announced prices.