Microsoft Targets "Guppies" With Kin Phones
I popped into the Microsoft announcement this morning of its Kin mobile phones -- Verizon phones focused on social network sites with easy sharing of photos and videos.
I spoke with Doug Free, a senior Microsoft representative, he said that the target market was "Guppies."
"It's what we call 'generation upload," he said.
The phones could be best described as a social network appliance because they are designed to easily integrate with users various social networks. They also have a high quality camera capable of video and high resolution photos.
Everything is easily shareable by making use of cloud-based storage. The phones store thumbnails of the photos and videos, viewing is on-demand.
Verizon said that the Kin phones would be available sometime in May but it did not reveal pricing or data plans. Vodafone will offer the hones in Europe.
The phones are well designed and the applications offer navigation through a touch screen. However, there is no app store, there are no plans to offer third party applications.
The phones are based on the Windows CE OS focused only on consumers. Business mobile phone users will have to wait until the end of this year for Microsoft's Windows 7 mobile platform.
Foremski's Take: The phones and the Kin application look good. However, they could be expensive to use. The teenage consumer market is very cost aware and voice and data plans can be difficult to afford for these consumers.
Storing and retrieving high definition video and photos in online services can quickly eat up data. Much will depend on Verizon's pricing for its plans.