KIN is DEAD!

Can’t say I didn’t call it…but it is now official: Microsoft’s KIN project is now officially dead. The KIN team will now be integrated into the Windows Phone 7 team. Just yesterday I posted that I found it strange that nothing was ever announced about the EU launch date…I wonder if the rumored update will ever see the light of the day now. On a brighter note; it will be interesting to see how KIN Studio will be integrated into Windows Phone 7.:

“We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.”

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KIN prices dropping and software update coming

Microsoft’s KIN phone may be on the way out, at least that what all the signs are pointing out. Verizon and Redmond don’t want to communicate on the estimated sales of both handsets since their launch a little bit more than a month ago and this can only mean that they aren’t worth talking about (contrast this with Apple’s 1.7 million iPhone 4 sold in a single day…) Some Verizon workers are now claiming that they are being outsold by the Palm Pre (how lame is that?). To try to make things a little better Verizon is hopelessly going to lower the KIN One price to $29 and KIN Two to $49, unfortunately they will still require a $29/or more data plan. On a brighter note; A software update is apparently in the works and should be released this summer. I find it rather “strange” that we haven’t heard anything new about the worldwide launch of both device (and there still is no carrier enrolled in France!). My advice to Microsoft would be: Forget about it, integrate Kin Studio into Windows Phone 7. KIN is dead.

Source: Cnet, BGR and Microsoft

Microsoft’s KIN ONE and KIN TWO from a Teenager’s point of vue

 

I can’t say I’m really optimistic about Microsoft’s KIN success but this doesn’t mean that I’m right. ZDnet’s Matt Miller is currently doing something really interesting: He actually gave both KIN handsets to his daughters and later asked them their first impressions.I encourage you to head over to his blog and check out his daughters first impressions. He will post a full review of both devices in the coming days which should be interesting.
Here’s Maloree’s first impressions of the KIN ONE:

When i first opened this futuristic cylinder of a box I thought the packaging was very unique! But when i first saw the phone it was quite small and very light weight, which made me feel it wasn’t very good quality. After putting in the battery and starting it up the set up and main operating was very confusing because it wouldn’t recognize my Gmail password. My dad had to help reset my password on my Windows Live account so I could login. I think they can make it a little more user friendly. When I first started texting the space bar got a little annoying, it clicks in an odd way. When looking through contacts it was very disappointing because it includes all friends on MySpace and Facebook who include there phone numbers and I didn’t really want all of that information in my contact list. I think it would be easier to add your own contacts instead of it automatically putting people you may not want in your contacts. I do enjoy the unlock screen when you have to flip a virtual page with a welcome message reading “Nice to meet you.” Under settings they have a very personalizable feature of color schemes including my favorite blue also green, red, and pink. Texting on the keyboard is very easy to text with and also I love the fact that it shows it as a conversation. I think the texting features will be very teenage friendly. But the music you have to have a Zune Pass to get music so I will need my dad to help me set that up on the computer. The volume button on the side is very handy and easy to operate. The camera seems to also be very high quality, compared to my other phones! After using the phone for a couple of hours I have started to really like this phone and have gotten used to the form factor and keyboard. The speed is quite brilliant compared to the HTC Touch Diamond since it doesn’t take as long of a time to get from place to place. I’ll keep using and messing around with the Kin One and keep you in touch.

Source: ZDNet

In-depth KIN ONE and KIN TWO Review


PhoneArena has posted a fairly in-depth review of the KIN ONE and KIN TWO handsets yesterday with lots of info of a camera sample for you to check out. Some interesting bits are also found in there like the fact that video’s capture in HD on KIN TWO can’t be synced to the KIN Studio over-the-air because of their size so the user will have to plug-in his handset to his PC via USB to manually upload them. What is worrying though is the quality of the web browser which is based on the IE Mobile version found in Windows Mobile 6.5.3; loading performance is said to be abyssal and rendering is only passable (takes a while for the page to re-render when zooming). Windows Phone 7′s browser is supposedly based on a newer version (based on IE 7 and some IE 8 ) that will hopefully don’t suffer from all those drawbacks (performance in the CTP Emulator isn’t really great right now tho…). KIN’s saving grace may come from the upcoming update that are scheduled to be pushed before the end of the year (and more in 2011).

 
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KIN Review round-up: Microsoft should have canceled the project ?

The first KIN reviews are popping up today and the general consensus is that the products just doesn’t have a place in the market now. It isn’t that the hardware is bad or that the software lacks several key features (both aren’t stellar and having a Tegra APX2600 is useless if it can’t be used for anything remotely interesting…), what kills it is the fact that both devices will be priced like smartphones and with smartphone data plans even though they are far from being such phones (no calendar,no gps mapping, no productivity suie etc..). Ever since the announcement last month I (and virtually every other website out there) said that in light of the current market and lack of features of the KIN phones (and now that Windows Phone 7 is announced and heavyly consumer oriented); KIN’s only saving grace will be the price of the hardware and the data plan associated with it. Unfortunately, Verizon and Microsoft have decided to screw the whole thing up:

To get the most from KIN, Verizon Wireless customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access. Email and Web for Smartphone plans start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.

Who the hell would pay for a KIN One or KIN Two $49.99 and $99.99 respectively after a $100 mail-in rebate when you can get an iPhone 3GS, HTC Legend or a Palm Pre PLus for a similar price?
I still stand by what I said a little while ago: Microsoft didn’t have the balls to can the project last year (especially after “wasting” $500M on Danger). Now let’s forget about all this and integrate Kin Studio into Windows Phone 7 please.

Here’s Engadget‘s conlusion:

You could get a Pre Plus — an immeasurably better phone with much of the social networking integration of the Kin devices — for $29 coupled with a smartphone and voice plan. Or you could spend a little more upfront and get a BlackBerry Tour 9630, Droid, Incredible, or Droid Eris — all much, much better phones with excellent social networking options. The list really goes on — and again, if you were a teenager or young adult with all of these great options laid out before you, the idea of choosing this severely limited device which doesn’t do a single thing better than even the most basic Android device is kind of crazy. Microsoft has hinted that it wants to shake up the text-centric featurephone market with Kin, but guess what? You categorically cannot even fathom to do that when you’re charging for smartphone data. It’s insulting to suggest otherwise.

And that about sums it up — there are much better choices for much less money on the market, and Microsoft hasn’t demonstrated to us why you would choose this phone over those. You could argue that the 720p video recording is a hook, but our results weren’t that outstanding, and we don’t know anyone who needs HD video on a phone so desperately that they’re willing to overlook all of these faults. In the end, we’re left with two orphan devices — phones that feel like they should have been killed before they made it to market, but somehow slipped through. It’s clear to us from conversations we’ve had with Microsoft that there are people at the company with good ideas about what phones should and shouldn’t do, but we don’t feel the Kin is representative of those ideas. The execution (or lack thereof) on these products makes us legitimately concerned about what the company will do with Windows Phone 7. We can only hope that the similarities between those devices and the Kin handsets don’t stretch much further than the “Windows Phone” label, because in our estimation, Kin is one side of the family that needs to be disowned… quickly.

Gizmodo‘s:

This bizarre pricing will make potential Kin buyers’ minds jump from messaging phones, which the Kin compares favorably to, to thoughts of smartphones, with app stores and full mapping and real browsers. Droids. The similar looking Pre. Or a BlackBerry. The stuff that you might not consider if you were considering a phone like the Kin in the first place—overkill!—but which Verizon has made you consider by not giving these handsets the pricing they deserve, instead opting to pit them against monstrous foes, endangering the Kin concept, and slowing our inevitable progress toward cloud services like Studio.

As a dumbphone killer, the Kin is an easy pitch. As a smartphone competitor, it’s hopeless.

Pocketnow‘s video: