Shalom Life | April 20, 2014

Meet Microsoft's Kin: A Social Phone

Microsoft announces a new line of phones.

By: Omer Shachnai

Published: April 13th, 2010 in News » World

Meet Microsoft's Kin: A Social Phone

Microsoft has announced Kin, their new line of phones, which puts an emphasis on social networks, SMS-texting and file-sharing.

In a press conference held Monday, Microsoft launched their brand new mobile device in a plan to stay ahead of the competition, by appealing to younger audiences. According to Microsoft, the whole purpose of the Kin is to make using and interacting with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter convenient and easy. On top of this, Microsoft promises a relatively low price.

The announcement itself comes as no surprise, just a short time after launching the Windows Phone 7 operating system, which is intended for premium mobile devices. Lately, Microsoft has realized that the cellular market is a veritable cash cow. As such, they seek to grab a bigger bite of this market, by creating quality phones accompanied by low prices, and designed especially for teenagers who make use of many social networks and texting services. The company wants to create a device where the users' entire "digital life" and content comes together into a single a platform, which is exactly what the users want, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft launched two models: Kin1 and Kin2. Both of these devices look very impressive. In one click, users can update from the Kin their status on all social networks to which they belong. By moving their finger across the screen, users can decide on files that will be shared with their friends as well as deciding exactly which friends, all with no clicks. The device knows who our closest friends are, with whom we talk the most and to whose social network statuses we are most likely to respond. The Kin also ranks the contacts according to the frequency with which we initiate conversations.

Moreover, the Kin is Microsoft's first mobile device which supports Zune media player, including an option of song recommendations and requests by other users and remotely streaming songs. The Kin1 (previously known as the Turtle) is equipped with a 5 MP "shooter" with flash, mono speakers, 4 GB of on-board storage, Zune media player, and a small touchscreen. The Kin2 is a bit more advanced, packing an 8 MP camera, the ability to shoot HD video in a resolution of 720p, 8 GB of storage, stereo speakers, a tuner, larger sliding keyboard and a larger touchscreen.

Some of these features are quite important for those who use texting all the time. Because storage is limited, Microsoft allows backing up all the content into cloud computing, which is a new concept, especially in the cellular world.

The supported social networks include Windows Live, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter and using the "Loop" interface (for uploading content) users will be able to upload pictures and videos with no need for additional software.

Microsoft has also just launched www.kin.com, the Internet hub for their new line of phones. The site itself is composed of a time-line with pictures attached, creating a linear visual representation of its user's life.

Who really needs a computer anymore, anyway?

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