Microsoft announces KIN, a new Windows Phone

Today, Microsoft announced that KIN, a new Windows Phone, will be available in the US this May.

KIN will be the first Windows mobile phone in the market to feature Zune as the integrated media player, including music, video, FM radio and podcast playback. Add in a Zune Pass subscription and you will be able to stream or download from the Zune Marketplace catalog of over 6 million of songs whenever and wherever you want, or side-load your personal collection using the Zune PC software.

The Zune PC software will also be the media synchronization software for KIN, giving you the ability to load all your music, pictures, podcasts and videos, including movie rentals and select titles from Zune Marketplace which can be purchased once and played on any of your screens (PC, Zune, Xbox LIVE, KIN).

With KIN, social networking is built into the the phone. KIN's interface is designed to help There are two models called KIN ONE and KIN TWO. Both phones feature a touch screen and slide-out keyboard. ONE is small and compact, making it a perfect fit for a pocket and to operate with one hand. TWO has a larger screen and keyboard, in addition to more memory, a higher resolution camera, and the ability to record high-definition video. The 5 and 8 megapixel cameras in ONE and TWO, respectively, are designed for use in low light with image stabilization and a bright LumiLED flash.

The home screen of the phone is called the KIN Loop, which is always up to date and always on, showing all the things happening in someone’s social world. KIN automatically brings together feeds from leading Microsoft and third-party services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all in one place, making it easier to stay connected. Customers can also select their favorite people, and KIN will automatically prioritize their status updates, messages, feeds and photos. Another unique feature, the KIN Spot is a new way for people to share what’s going on in their world. It lets them focus first on the people and stuff they want to share rather than the specific application they want to use. Videos, photos, text messages, Web pages, location and status updates are shared by simply dragging them to a single place on the phone called the Spot. Once all the people and content are in the Spot to share, the consumer can choose how to share, and start broadcasting.

Almost everything created on the phone is available in the cloud from any Web browser. Photos and videos are freed from the confines of the phone and presented in an online visual timeline so they are easy to view and share. The KIN Studio automatically backs up texts, call history, photos, videos and contacts, and populates a personalized digital journal so it’s easy to go back and relive the good times you've had. And the KIN Studio gives customers tons of storage to keep all those photos, videos, contacts and texts so they’ll never run out of space on their phone and lose a memory.

KIN also has other features a rich browser with the ability to share pieces of the Web, local and Web search by Bing, and an RSS feed reader to pull down information on people and stories from the Web.

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