Why You Don't Want a Microsoft Kin Phone

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Microsoft released its new Kin line of phones yesterday to much fanfare. There are plenty of reasons you won't want one. Here are the top five.

No apps

Yes, you heard me, no apps. The iPhone has 140,000 apps and counting, Android phones have tens of thousands, and BlackBerries, Palms, and other smartphone are bristling with them as well. But none for the Kin. Microsoft claims to have interviewed up to 50,000 people to help it determine the best features for the phone. Microsoft must have somehow found the last 50,000 people on earth who don't want apps on their phones.

Microsoft says that the phone was designed for women between the ages of 15 and 30 who are interested in social networking, yet it somehow believes they don't want apps? Perhaps the company hasn't heard about how important location-based apps such as Foursquare are becoming for the social networking set. Heck, one fifteen-year-old even checked into Foursquare from the North Pole, although he didn't find any friends nearby.

Poor Twitter support

You would expect that a phone designed primarily for social networking would offer the absolute best Twitter support possible. Why, then, doesn't the Kin allow its users to share photos and videos via Twitter? After all, both versions have good cameras. Do you really think that the next time a Kin user snaps a photo of Gossip Girl star Blake Lively drinking a latte at Starbucks, she's not going to want to share it with the world on Twitter?

No Windows 7 Phone operating system

The Windows Phone 7 operating system will be out sometime later this year, and it's Microsoft's attempt to compete with nifty phones like the iPhone and Android-based phones. But the Kin is based on current Microsoft mobile technology, so won't run Windows Phone 7 when it comes out. The Kin is yesterday's technology, not tomorrow's.

No calendar sharing

The Kin has been designed from the ground up for sharing --- but you can't share your calendars with others on it. In fact, it doesn't even include a calendar app built into it. And while I'm on the subject of complaining about its lack of social networking prowess, why is there no IM client? Yes, texting has largely replaced IMing for cell phone users, but once in a while a girl wants to go old school, doesn't she?

You likely don't have BFFs

Need Google to find out what BFF means? Then you don't want this phone. Even if you do know what the term means, if you're not the kind of person who has plenty of BFFs, this phone is not for you.

Bonus reason --- you can get better phones at the same price

The Kin was designed to be inexpensive. But inexpensive need not necessarily mean lacking in features. Both the Android-based HTC Hero and the Palm Pre Plus are far more powerful phones at around the same price.

This story, "Why You Don't Want a Microsoft Kin Phone" was originally published by Computerworld.

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