MICROSOFT KIN - Will it survive the competition?

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In current times social networking has become a part of life of every individual. People are so much into social networking that, they want to be connected to everyone even while travelling or in a conference or in class rooms (in case of students like me). For this purpose Mobile devices have shifted dramatically in last few years to more empowered and capable devices. Now, Microsoft has moved a step ahead of others.Microsoft on April 12, 2010 announced KIN social phone models in collaboration with Verizon wireless and SHARP. They claim to have created KIN for the “youthful audience”. They have released two models KIN ONE and KIN TWO. ONE is smaller in screen size, keyboard size, camera resolution and memory compared to TWO.

KIN has three new features to experience- LOOP, SPOT and STUDIO

LOOP: - The Loop in KIN is the home screen. The Loop I always updated with the happenings of the social world. It automatically brings the updates and feeds from leading sites like the Facebook, Twitter and MySpace; all into one space. The customer can select their favorite contacts according to which KIN prioritizes the status updates, messages etc.

SPOT: - This is another unique feature for the people to share what’s going on in their world. The primary focus is on the people and the stuff they want to share. Everything a person wants to share; photos, videos, messages etc are shared by just dragging them to a single place on the phone called the SPOT.

STUDIO: -This is the phone online. Everything created on the phone is made available on the web. The STUDIO has the backup of the photos, text messages, videos and contacts. The huge memory provided by KIN helps in storing the vast data.

But many drawbacks are being noticed already. To start with a few there are no apps, no Flash and no games. The most disappointing part is that the LOOP is updated with new messages every 15 minutes. In present times when dozens of comments flow in Facebook, hundreds of tweets are made in Twitter in matter of few minutes; can people wait for 15 minutes to see their updates?

Apart from this KIN lacks and instant messaging client and a universal inbox. Even though KIN offers seamless photo and video uploading, there are no photo and video editing applications provided.

With competitors like Apple and Motorola; who have already provided similar services and are still improvising on it, it will be real tough for Microsoft KIN to make a mark. To survive such a competition it has to either remove the drawbacks or sell the pieces at a dead cheap rate compared to others.

By Abhilash Owk

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