Microsoft introduces 'social phone,' Kin

Verizon will be the exclusive US carrier; Vodafone will sell the phones in Europe

Microsoft's new Kin mobile phones are aimed at social network users. KinTwo, left, and KinOne, right.

Microsoft's new Kin mobile phones are aimed at social network users. KinTwo, left, and KinOne, right.

Hoping to lure the Facebook and Twitter crowds, Microsoft introduced its Kin mobile phones Monday.

With hardware built by Sharp, the Kin will come in two models: the Kin One, and a wider, more powerful model called Kin Two. The devices will be sold exclusively in the U.S. by Verizon, starting next month. In Europe, Vodafone will be the exclusive provider, starting around October.

Speaking at a San Francisco launch event Monday, Microsoft's Robbie Bach billed the devices as smartphones designed for social-networking and video-obsessed users. "We knew we had created something very special for people when we saw the reactions to people from our prototype," said Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division.

Both versions of the phone come with a slide-out keyboard, but the Kin Two has a wider keyboard, more memory and a better camera that can shoot high-resolution video. The Kin One comes with a 5-megapixel camera and the Kin 2 with an 8-megapixel camera.

Looking to leverage its software expertise, Microsoft is adding a number of features designed to help the phones integrate with social media Web sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The Kin's homepage can weave together different social media feeds and using a feature called Kin Spot, users can zoom in on specific people in their networks.

Another feature, called Kin Studio, will give users a simple way to organize their photos, text messages and data, in what Microsoft calls a "personalized digital journal," and then store all of this information online.

Kin will also be integrated with Microsoft's Zune digital media marketplace.

Microsoft and Verizon are not saying what the first Kin devices will cost when they are released next month.

Vodafone will initially sell the devices in Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags social mediaMicrosoftsocial networkingKin

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?