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Microsoft defends Kin's $70 rate, promises apps

updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed May 12, 2010

MS says Kin to merge with WP7 app platform

Microsoft today defended the $70 monthly plan for the Kin by revealing that the phones would eventually get smartphone-like app support. Mobile communications senior manager Greg Sullivan said the Kin and Windows Phone 7 platforms would eventually merge to where both would run the same apps. He didn't give a timetable but asserted that the Kin was already starting above regular 'feature' phones, particularly through its inclusion of online backup and media sharing through the Kin Studio.

"We're introducing a new category that's not exactly a smartphone and certainly more than a high-end feature phone -- a social or cloud phone -- with a rich browsing experience and rich multimedia social networking, where everything I do on the phone is automatically backed up in the Kin Studio," Sullivan said.

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney echoed the views and insisted that people would see the "value" of the social networking and backup components that justify the higher rates.

Many have pointed out that Microsoft's approach to the Kin, which stresses Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, runs against actual teen usage habits. Only a small portion of teens use Internet features on their phones where the majority are frequent texters; allowing a Talk and Text plan would in many cases save $10 or $20 per month. Many other devices on Verizon's network that require the $70 plan already have smartphone-class apps and often more features, as do the iPhone and other similarly-priced devices on competing networks.

by MacNN Staff



  1. sribe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    such a compelling offer

    Pay $70/month today, and then some day in the unspecified eventual future, you'll be able to run some apps.

    You'd be better off buying an iPhone in order to run Flash games ;-)

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Trust us?!?

    Trust us we're eventually going to make this into a smartphone. Someday it will run some unspecified apps like the other smart phones do. It's a cloud phone.

    Yeah the only cloud is the vague promises by MS. Just how stupid do they think people are? Buy an iPhone or Android phone that has apps and have been proven to work or get a Kin that doesn't do much now but "trust us we're going to add all sorts of things after we have your money".


  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That you have to pay a monthly fee NOW for features that don't yet exist! Who would be stupid enough to buy into this?

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    will Win 7 Mobile run Win Mobile 6.5 apps?

    Last year MS appealed directly to a number of popular app developers to bring their apps over to 6.5. I wonder if they feel as screwed now as all the PlaysForSure people did after the release of the Zune.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Silly

    That you have to pay a monthly fee NOW for features that don't yet exist! Who would be stupid enough to buy into this?

    I don't know, a lot of people went out and bought an iPhone when it was released, and most of that was about the promise of the device, not what was actually there.

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    poor comparison

    You're talking about expectations. He's talking about promising something "in the future" that wasn't yet there. AFAIK Apple didn't do that with the iPhone; they usually don't announce anything until it's ready to go. That's one aspect of the whole secrecy that's a plus: no FUD.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Turns out I had Microsoft all wrong. They're not completely run by deranged monkeys; it's just a case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing. They apparently still have higher-ups skilled enough to salvage the mess that the department head responsible for the Kin roll-out made for the Win Phone 7 department, and come to an acceptable solution. This is what they should have announced from the start, that Kin is a stop-gap measure while Win Phone 7 is made ready to ship, and they needed to roll out their own hardware for Win Phone 7 because phone OEMs aren't too hot on WP7, and aren't willing to invest heavily in the platform with flagship hardware and marketing dollars until it proves itself. If they had anyone over there watching over the different departments with any long-term vision whatsoever, they would have rolled out the Kin platform in a much smarter way from the start. But it's reassuring to know that a company the size of Microsoft isn't completely headless. It's just their execution that kills them.

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