Microsoft Kin

The Daily Slash: June 18th 2010

The Daily Slash: June 18th 2010

Well, here we are. At the end of the week, looking ahead to the weekend. Two days of good, old-fashioned relaxation. Unless you have to work. Then, well, ignore all of that. Either way though, welcome to tonight's edition of The Daily Slash. While we're not going to officially give it a nickname, but you could call tonight's Slash the Robot Night. In the Best of R3 Media, we've got an eReader app launching on Android, some miserable numbers for the Kin, and some good news for Motorola (maybe). And then, in the Dredge 'Net, we've got the Hyperion 4-legged robot, a super-device, and mini dancing robots.

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Just 500 Microsoft Kin phones sold claims source

Just 500 Microsoft Kin phones sold claims source

We'll admit, we weren't entirely convinced by Microsoft's KIN smartphones - their patchy specs and expensive Verizon smartphone tariffs didn't add up to a particularly compelling range - but Business Insider's current rumor that the company has sold just 500 devices doesn't quite ring true.  They aren't saying where that figure came from, though they are asking any Kin owners to step forward and identify themselves.

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GenUpload: Two weeks with KIN

GenUpload: Two weeks with KIN

A few weeks back, I wrote my first impressions of Microsoft’s new KIN phones, and their appeal specifically to the different way teenagers use cellphones. But understanding the intent of the KIN and a few hours of testing wasn’t really enough to get a real picture of how well it would actually work as a phone for teenagers. So, for two weeks, I shelved my featurephone and iPod Touch, and went with just a KIN (in this case, the KIN 2).

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The Fate of Windows Phone 7

The Fate of Windows Phone 7

With the KIN entering the market, HP's acquisition of Palm, and a number of other industry events, I have been asked quite a bit about Microsoft's chances of success with Windows Phone 7. Microsoft is losing traction in this market rapidly and is in desperate need of strategy that will keep their operating system competitive in a market dominated by RIM, Apple, and Google. If you look at the numbers released by Gartner toward the end of last year projecting mobile OS market share, they projected in 2012 Microsoft to rank 4th on the list with just over 12% of the smartphone OS market share. 12% of the market is not bad and would come out to roughly 70 million devices in that year. That being said, I can't imagine Microsoft being content with 4th place. So what do they need to do to be successful in a fragmented smartphone OS landscape in which we expect some consolidation to happen in the next few years?

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Microsoft’s Kin and the emergence of featurephone data tiers

Microsoft’s Kin and the emergence of featurephone data tiers

As I was in the middle of writing this month's column on Microsoft's Kin, SlashGear editor Chris Davies sent me a draft of Michael Gartenberg's column on... Microsoft's Kin. I was relieved to see that there wasn’t too much overlap; Michael’s column is on the Kin’s target market, and I’m focusing on changing carrier pricing structures. I agree with Michael’s premise: there is pent up demand for a social network appliance, and the TwitterPeek ain't it. My problem with the Kin is that we haven’t been given the critical piece of information that will determine whether it will be a success: data pricing.

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Why I like Kin

Why I like Kin

Recently, Microsoft unveiled a new mobile platform and two new devices built for it. It's called Kin and it's targeted at a younger demographic with a focus on social communication. It's also been one of the most controversial releases I've ever seen. Many folks who've weighed in on the topic weren't too impressed. They cite a lack of features ranging from a calendar to no support for third party applications, most notably games. I don't share those views (although I do think it's not a good idea for middle aged Microsoft executives to go with a shirt untucked and unshaven look while presenting) and I think Kin has a good chance of being successful in the marketplace. Here's why.

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Microsoft Kin ROMs tip AT&T, T-Mobile & other carrier support

Microsoft Kin ROMs tip AT&T, T-Mobile & other carrier support

Microsoft were upfront about their plans to launch their new Kin One and Kin Two featurephones not only on Verizon in the US but on Vodafone in Europe, but it looks like multiple other carriers are also in line for the QWERTY handsets.  According to ROM-tinkerer Conflipper, and his excavations through system provisioning files pulled from an early Kin OS build, AT&T, T-Mobile, Fido and various European carriers are all listed.

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Kin One & Kin Two hands-on [Video]

Kin One & Kin Two hands-on [Video]

We're not sure whether we count as part of "Generation Upload", but after Microsoft's Kin One and Kin Two feature-phones were announced we grabbed some hands-on time with the two devices.  It's clear that the focus of the handsets is resolutely consumer, the youth market - who might usually go for a Sidekick - in particular, but we've always argued that Sidekick-style features like remote backup, cloud storage and tight social networking integration have appeal for more than just teens.  Check out our hands-on first impressions after the cut, together with video.

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Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two official

Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two official

Microsoft's Project Pink has finally matured into a couple of official devices, and if you were expecting a Zune phone then you might be a little surprised. The Microsoft Kin One and Kin Two - formerly known as the "Turtle" and "Pure" - are being positioned as feature phones for "Generation Upload", with an emphasis both on social networking and on making sure Windows Phone 7's toes don't get stepped on.

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