Tag Archives: kin

Leaked Internal Kin Usability studies shows why Windows Phone is fast and smooth

Wired.com have managed to get their hands on some KIN One and KIN Two Usability Study videos, and it shows how Microsoft’s aborted feature phones/ smartphones disappointed reviewed with slow and laggy touch performance.

Windows Phone 7 was of course released a bare 5 months later, and was exactly the opposite of laggy, earning a reputation of a fast and smooth operating system, not by co-incidence, but because it was an obsession of the development team.

See two more videos after the break.

Continue reading

Rumours of Microsoft producing its own Windows Phone starting

imageThe revelation of the Microsoft Surface, Microsoft’s own-branded tablet, has sparked of rumours of Microsoft also producing their own Windows Phone also, Reuters reports.

"Our industry sources tell us that Microsoft may be working with a contract manufacturer to develop their own handset for Windows Phone 8," wrote Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund in a note to clients on Thursday.

"It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to market Microsoft-branded handset," wrote Sherlund, who covered Microsoft for Goldman Sachs when the bank brought Microsoft public in 1986.

Microsoft however signalled that the story was just hot air, with a spokesman saying the company was a "big believer in our hardware partners and together we’re focused on bringing Windows Phone 8 to market this year."

Microsoft has of course flirted with making their own smartphone before, with the Kin being pretty close to an unmitigated disaster. 

Do our readers think the new Microsoft may be brave enough for a second round? Let us know below.

Thanks Milad for the tip.

BBC thinks Google and Facebook invented automatic picture uploading

stupid_logo_high_res_3There is a reason why patents were invented – otherwise credit goes to those making the loudest noise.

Such is the case now with Google +.  In this BBC article the reporter is apparently under the impression automatic uploading of pictures were a new feature developed by Apple and implemented first by Google.

They wrote:

There is also an Android smartphone app for the Google+ network which I’ve tested briefly. It offers Huddle, a group text-messaging system, but more interesting is an option which automatically uploads photos from your phone to your profile.

That’s an idea which Steve Jobs unveiled as a feature of Apple’s iCloud service. Now Google has got in first.

Of course we know that MyPhone has been uploading our pictures for ages now, and real time uploading started with the KIN phones and was perfected in Windows Phone 7.

Maybe slapping Google with a patent suite will get credit restored to where it is due.

Thanks John for the tip.

Microsoft recruiting engineers for “a new Cloud Layer for a whole slew of services for Windows Phone”

We always keep a close eye on Microsoft’s job board, and their latest post is pretty interesting.

In this post they are recruiting engineers to create a “a new Cloud Layer for a whole slew of services for Windows Phone” with “a centralized system for Configuration , Deployment, Runtime, Business Intelligence”.

It is not exactly clear what this cloud service will be. Two possibilities are suggested.  One is for a new KIN Studio-like service for Windows Phone 7, which has already been suggested earlier, with Aaron Woodman, director of the mobile communications business at Microsoft saying “It’s definitely part of the road map to have enriched services that make the phone more meaningful, and the Web more meaningful,”

The other, suggested somewhat by the use of “Configuration , Deployment, Runtime, Business Intelligence” is that this service will be designed for enterprise device management which is obviously necessary but less exciting.

See the full job post after the break.

Continue reading

Plug pulled on Kin Studio services

kinclose

As previously warned, this Tuesday Microsoft shut down Kin Studio, the online services for the aborted Kin “social phone”. Wi-fi functionality and basic Internet features remain, but none of the 3G services will work. Microsoft pulled the plug on Kin – which has been estimated to have lost them over $60,000 per phone sold – last June.

With the loss of the services, the Kin phones are all effectively feature phones; while Microsoft has indicated a vague interest in porting Kin’s services to WP7, no schedule has been announced.

via wpcentral.

The ties that bind

Over the past few weeks, I have read articles speculating on what the next Facebook killer would look like. The most notable was by Paul Adams, a former Google employee who recently got hired by Facebook. He wrote an insightful presentation titled, The Real Life Social Network in which he details the weaknesses of the current social networks and what can be done to improve them.

strong_weak_ties

The presentation outlines the premise  that current social networks are monolithic in nature and do not take into account of how people interact in real life. Here are some excerpts

Continue reading

Microsoft will add Kin Studio-like features to Windows Phone Live to compete with Android

Microsoft to add KIN Studio features to Windows Phone Live

In an interview with Seattle Times, Aaron Woodman, director of the mobile communications business at Microsoft, shared some stats, detail and info about Windows Phone 7.

One little point which should cheer developers is that Windows Phone 7 users are pretty active on marketplace, with more than half of Windows Phone 7 users downloading an app per day.  Games were particular popular. If this trends continues, and the installed base increase, the challenge for developers will simply be to turn that appetite for apps into a revenue steam.

Aaron also noted that customer satisfaction for AT&T customers with Windows Phones were high, with 9 out of 10 users saying they would recommend the phone to some-one else.

“We feel really good,” Woodman said. “Long term we want to drive volume business. Short term we want people to recommend us.”

Part of Aaron’s strategy to get that volume is to enhance windowsphone.live.com, the Windows phone cloud service.

“We have a very, very small baby step with Windows Phone Live,” he said. “It’s definitely part of the road map to have enriched services that make the phone more meaningful, and the Web more meaningful,” such as Xbox Live and Windows Phone Live. That’s one way Windows Phone can continue to compete against Android, he said.

Read the full interview at Seattle Times here.

Thanks MobilePaddy for the tip.

WP7 Verizon/Sprint likely release date given

According to Aaron Woodman, Microsoft director of mobile communications, US telcos Verizon and Sprint will be carrying Windows Phone 7 devices by June 30th 2011. Sharon Chan of the Seattle Times obtained the date in an interview with Woodman yesterday. The delay has chiefly been a result of building WP7 for Verizon and Sprint’s CDMA networks, not widely used outside the US; WP7′s global focus has made the more widely used GSM standard a higher priority.

He also talks about Web services, mentioning that more Kin Studio-like services were in development for Windows Phone 7.

We have a very, very small baby step with Windows Phone Live. It’s definitely part of the road map to have enriched services that make the phone more meaningful, and the Web more meaningful.

You can read more at the Seattle Times here.

Thanks to MobilePaddy for the tip.

Is it the end for the road for KIN Studio?

 

kinclose

It sure does look so from the image above . This should essentially mean the end of the Kin phones as well IMHO. WPcentral has a scoop outlining Verizon’s plans to shutter the studio service, one of  the main reasons why anyone would consider having these devices in the first place on January 31st .  From the blog

  • Feed Reader will stop working
  • Search Near me will stop working
  • Posting Photos to social sites will no longer be possible
  • Most pictures currently on Kin will only appear at thumbnail resolution
  • Posting to Social Networks will no longer work.

Click on the source link for more detailed information on the impact this news will have on the devices. On a positive note, Verizon will be offering a free upgrade to a 3g phone for any affected KIN users if they decide to go with a different phone.

source wpcentral

The Kins are back in town!

kinandtwo

The reports of the Kin phones coming back tuned out to be true after all with the devices available for sale on the Verizon wireless website. The Phones have been renamed Kin ONEm and Kin TWOm with the prices at $19.99 for the former and $49.99 for the latter. The data pricing starts at a reasonable $9.99 for 25 MB with a better deal of $15 for 150 MB that you have do dig through to find. The voice plans start at $39.99. Zune pass streaming however is now available only over Wi-Fi . I am curious to see what updates have been made to the OS because the leaked document mentioned the presence of a calendar.

Michael Gillett at mymicrosoftlife.com, has discovered on the Kin ONE interactive walkthrough that the Kin studio now has a new URL studio.vz.kin.com, which may (this is just pure speculation) mean that this devices might become available from other carriers. Typing Kin.com redirects you to the aforementioned URL. The general consensus seems to be that Verizon is bringing back the phones to sell off the leftover stock but Microsoft already wrote off $240 million and so it doesn’t make sense to me for them to bring back a “failed” product.

I think and again this just my opinion, that Verizon knows they screwed up pricing the Kin phones out of the market and they may be trying to get back in good graces with Microsoft for WP7 phones. Why would they otherwise waste their time with these devices when they seem to be doing pretty well with the Android phones? Verizon must also really have a messed up sense of humor because their “buy one get one free deal” with the Kin TWOm  gives you the LG Ally, an Android based device as the free option???

via engadget

The Kin Phones to rise from the ashes?

kinredux

There are times such as this that words cannot describe my puzzlement. It seems that PPCgeeks.com have obtained a leaked Q4 roadmap for Verizon which includes of all things, the return of the Kin Phones! This time around though, they are slated as feature phones. Engadget is confirming the return of these phones adding that the “Kin Loop” and automatic photo uploads are out and so is the Data plan requirement. I for one I’m still curios about these developments because the ‘”Loop” was an integral part of the interface and I’m not sure how appealing the phone will operate without it . Of note however on the leaked document, it mentions calendar functionality, something which was a glaring omission on the original software.

I really don’t understand what Microsoft’s strategy in timing if this story turns out to be true since they have just released WP7 unless, they are trying to use it to go after the low end Android devices. I have always thought that Microsoft should relaunch these phones at a later date but not yet. Next year would be better after WP7 receives its first major OS update. What do you guys think?

PPCgeeeks via Engadget

Ballmer rapped over the knuckles for KIN, tablet failure (and that’s a good thing)

The Microsoft CEO has been blamed for the KIN debacle and late delivery of Windows Phone 7.

The Microsoft CEO has been blamed for the KIN debacle and late delivery of Windows Phone 7.

Many have claimed that employees at Microsoft lacked accountability for underperformance, noting a culture of under-delivery and delay.

It seems on this occasion at least more than the rank and file employees have been punished for what is in the end a failure by management to run a project properly.

Steve Ballmer has been denied the maximum bonus (twice his base salary of $670,000) he was eligible for, despite the company’s great performance in its traditional markets (with record sales of $62.5 billion), with an SEC filing blaming the “unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone, loss of market share in the company’s mobile phone business, and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors.”

While the company clearly did not suffer any significant financial injury due to these failures, the share price of the Microsoft has been stagnant or dropping due to lack of confidence by the market in the company’s ability to compete in the future, related specifically to the smartphone and tablet market.

While Steve Ballmer has suffered a cut in his annual salary from  $2.010 million to to $1.340 million, with an estimated fortune of $10 billion it is obviously no more than symbolic.  Hopefully however it is a further indication that the Microsoft board is putting even greater emphasis on the company innovating, delivering and competing even faster, rather that always arriving to the market 2 years after everyone else.

Read the full Reuters report at news.yahoo.com here.

Ballmer rapped over the knuckles for KIN, tablet failure (and that’s a good thing)

The Microsoft CEO has been blamed for the KIN debacle and late delivery of Windows Phone 7.

The Microsoft CEO has been blamed for the KIN debacle and late delivery of Windows Phone 7.

Many have claimed that employees at Microsoft lacked accountability for underperformance, noting a culture of under-delivery and delay.

It seems on this occasion at least more than the rank and file employees have been punished for what is in the end a failure by management to run a project properly.

Steve Ballmer has been denied the maximum bonus (twice his base salary of $670,000) he was eligible for, despite the company’s great performance in its traditional markets (with record sales of $62.5 billion), with an SEC filing blaming the “unsuccessful launch of the Kin phone, loss of market share in the company’s mobile phone business, and the need for the company to pursue innovations to take advantage of new form factors.”

While the company clearly did not suffer any significant financial injury due to these failures, the share price of the Microsoft has been stagnant or dropping due to lack of confidence by the market in the company’s ability to compete in the future, related specifically to the smartphone and tablet market.

While Steve Ballmer has suffered a cut in his annual salary from  $2.010 million to to $1.340 million, with an estimated fortune of $10 billion it is obviously no more than symbolic.  Hopefully however it is a further indication that the Microsoft board is putting even greater emphasis on the company innovating, delivering and competing even faster, rather that always arriving to the market 2 years after everyone else.

Read the full Reuters report at news.yahoo.com here.