The KIN – Microsoft’s attempt to become the social phone

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Microsoft today has announced the new name of the long-rumoured Project Pink – the KIN. The new phones, dubbed KIN One and KIN Two (The Turtle and the Pure), are designed to help people – as Microsoft puts it – navigate their social lives online and offline, with new experiences called the Loop, Spot and Studio. Like the rumours have said, these have been made by Sharp.

Both the KIN One and KIN Two feature sliding keyboards and a touch screen, and will run on a brand new mobile OS, but taking some elements of Windows Mobile 7. But the KIN One has a smaller screen than the KIN Two, though what size is it is currently unknown, and both will have 3G and Bluetooth. Like all phones, you’re goint to get a web browser, but you’re not going to get in-built Flash or Silverlight. As well, no word on applications – or even an App Store. For all I know is, it is just a brand new OS targeting the youth.

The KIN One also features 4GB of internal memory and a 5-megapixel camera, and the KIN Two will have 8GB of internal memories and an 8-megapixel camera that allows it to to record in HD. The phone, like Windows Mobile 7, will also have integration with the Zune (Microsoft says its the first Windows Phone to have the Zune) – allowing Zune-bought music to be playable on the device. It will also feature, most likely from the Zune, video and podcast playback and FM radio.

But that’s not what Microsoft’s big news about the phone – Microsoft is also making everything on your phone on the web. Yes, Microsoft will create backups of your texts, call history, videos, photos and contacts with its KIN Studio service. It also touts the service that gives customers tons of storage and they will never run out of space and lose memories – but how much of that space people get remains a mystery. However, having a nice online backup is handy – though, we don’t see a Sidekick outage.

But what the hell are the Loop and the Spot? Here’s your answer. The KIN Loop is your home screen, which allows you to merge your Facebook, Twitter and MySpace contacts into one place – though why remian sa question – and you can view latest messages, feeds, photos and updates, with the KIN to automatically prioritise them. The KIN Spot is a new way to share, allowing people to drag and drop videos, photos, text messages, web pages, location and status updates and once it’s all there, you can choose how to share and start broadcasting.

Anyway, the phone won’t come out until May in the United States with Verizon. International availablity has been confirmed with Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK with Vodafone – and they will get the phone in Autumn.

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