Microsoft Kin: Four features that windows phone 7 needs

Microsoft's social networking phones earned mixed reviews, but they did have some redeeming features.

With its Kin line of phones killed, Microsoft has announced that the people who worked on those devices will join the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating Kin concepts and technology into Microsoft's upcoming mobile OS. Despite up-and-down reviews, Kin did have some redeeming qualities. Even though feature creep is a dangerous thing, here are four things that should make the leap from Kin to Windows Phone 7:

Kin Studio

The name would have to change, obviously, but automatic syncing of photos and video to a cloud server for easy PC access was one of Kin's most praised features. Windows Phone 7 will reach a larger audience than Kin, which could pose a challenge in terms of server space, but if Microsoft can offer Windows Live SkyDrive and Windows Live Sync for PC users, surely it can make room for mobile.

Drag and Drop Media

Known on the Kin as "The Spot" -- another name that needs to be scrapped -- this feature let users drag photos, videos, Web sites, and status updates to a common location on the phone, where they could be sent via e-mail, MMS, or social network. This kind of fluidity is notably absent from the iPhone, which could give Microsoft at least one advantage.

One Big Fat Feed

Windows Phone 7 will include a live feed of photos and social networking updates from your contacts, but what about blogs and Web sites? Kin's feed includes them as well, and Windows Phone 7 should find a way. There may be something chaotic about mashing RSS feeds and status updates into one long stream of data, but it's a great way to kill idle time -- a skill at which any consumer-facing smartphone must excel.

Distinctive Look

Specs and features aside, what makes the iPhone, the Droid, and Blackberry phones notable is how you can spot them from a mile away. The same is true of the Kin One, though I never saw one in the wild. I'm not saying Microsoft should use the Kin aesthetic for Windows Phone 7 -- those designs are a little too funky for the masses -- but it should at least encourage its hardware partners to avoid generic, uninspiring design.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

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

Tags consumer electronicsmobile phonesMicrosoftPhonesmicrosoft kin

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

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?