This article from Computerworld gives an in-depth look at Microsoft's plans for the Kin, and for Windows Phone 7. Redmond's mobile strategy has never looked more schizophrenic than it does now. Microsoft has no idea what to do with the Kin, or with WP7.
Critics have attacked the Kin 1 and 2 for being non-smartphones that cost as much, on a monthly basis, as any high-end superphone out there. $70/month is a lot to pay for an amped up feature phone that can't download apps. Microsoft counters by claiming that the value of their cloud services will make the fee worth it. Greg Sullivan, senior product manager for Microsoft's mobile communications unit, had this to say,
"Over the longer term, we'll be merging [Kin and Windows Phone 7] platforms and having downloadable apps,"
Oh. Okay. So eventually the Kin phones will join the WP7 family? Not according to Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division. He said that both platforms are very different. WP7 is there to “simplify” your life, while the Kin phones exist to “amplify” it.
Because that makes a whole lot of sense. Apparently young people want to use technology to improve their lives, while older folks just want to “simplify and manage things.”
Very little of what Microsoft seems to have planned here makes any sense at all. I get the sense that they are just throwing ideas willy-nilly at the wall and hoping like hell that something makes an impact in the market and gives them an idea of where to go next.
Kin and WP7 are going to merge! Kin and WP7 are unique! Simplify! Amplify!
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Meanwhile, the rest of us are oggling the new iPhone and salivating at the thought of the HTC Evo. Oh well.