When Verizon first sent me the ONE and TWO for review, I setup both KIN on the same Live account. Much like Android’s dependency on you having a Google account for backing up a list of installed applications, Microsoft used its Live service with the KIN for total device backups and creating a complete user profile. I figured it’d just work fine to have both devices on one account.

It didn't. That was very, very bad.

I don’t think anyone at Microsoft ever expected anyone to have two of those phones at the same time. After last week’s announcement, it looks like Microsoft had even lower expectations for KIN acceptance.

While the premature death of the platform isn’t really a shock (the phones had glaring issues and ran an OS that clearly had no roadmap in a Windows Phone 7 dominated future), there were some key features Microsoft and its Danger team did better than anyone else in the smartphone market today.

Even when Palm’s future looked bleak, there were and still are elements of WebOS that we hope will someday appear in Android or iOS. The same can be said about what Microsoft did with KIN. It’s true that as a device defying categorization as either a smartphone or featurephone, KIN wasn’t around long enough to be remembered, but as a platform there are things KIN gave us that we shouldn’t forget.

What follows is an exploration of just that.

We hope that this will serve as a list of the things Microsoft did right with KIN, so that we might see these features in future smartphone platforms - including Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. We realize that although it's still selling, KIN is unquestionably dead. With any luck, Microsoft and Verizon will roll out one promised software update, and then let the short lived platform ride off into oblivion. Though this is a platform you'll likely never encounter in the real world (I know I've yet to), there's quite a bit that could still be salvaged, including one truly revolutionary feature unrivaled by any competitor today.

KINcredible Packaging
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  • Belard - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    MS Mobile was always... garbage. It did some NEAT things, badly. Nothing more.

    Everyone I know who used WindowsMobile or Blackberrys quickly went to iPhone when the iPhone came out and haven't looked back.

    Of course, Apple is screwed up with their attitude issues with the lated iPhone4. Bad design flaw.
    Reply
  • aebiv - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    What did it do badly?

    And I've found the opposite, a lot who went to the iPhone and BB were annoyed at the lack of applications and flexibility in the platforms,so they went back to WinMo
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    I think it says something when the best feature of an OS is that it allows other stuff to be installed over it.

    Really, most people don't want to spend the extra money on a bunch of software just to get the OS to a functional state. And it still feels like what it is - a hacked together assembly of programs that have an uneasy truce amongst each other. Unless you need some of the enterprise integration available, there is no way I could recommend a WM 6.x phone to anyone.
    Reply
  • aebiv - Thursday, July 15, 2010 - link

    And in the same line of thinking as that, calling the iPhone a smartphone is a joke. It is a glorified, and admittedly very well done top end feature phone. Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, July 16, 2010 - link

    Fist of all, saying the iPhone is not a smartphone is assinine. Second - Look at the scoreboard - WinMo 6 phones are losing ground for a very good reason - they just aren't as nice to use as the iPhone or Android. The battle has already been lost Reply
  • aebiv - Saturday, July 17, 2010 - link

    Really? Was the first gen a smartphone? It couldn't even send MMS messages or multitask at all. My old dumb phones did more than it did.

    What have we added? Apps? Great... what does that do for me again? Can I do network packet sniffing? Can I use it as an IR remote for TV's and devices?

    I can't plug anything into the iPhone through USB host either on an iPhone.

    It is NOT a smartphone, it is a glorified, overpriced feature phone. The sad thing is, WP7 and Android 3.0 are heading down the same path.
    Reply
  • Commodus - Saturday, July 17, 2010 - link

    Actually, you can use it as a remote. You need an adapter with a custom app, but it can be done.

    The iPhone is very much a smartphone. Just ask the enterprises using sales apps and juggling Exchange data. Ask the people using it as part of home automation systems.

    Yes, Apple could stand to loosen its app guidelines, but the very definition of a smartphone is one that focuses heavily on functions beyond making calls and receiving text messages, especially if it has robust apps. If anything, Windows Mobile is feeling less and less like a smartphone OS every day, as there are far fewer apps for it now than iOS (and likely Android too) and a narrower range.

    It's no longer 2002. We'd like you to join us in an era where you don't need a stylus to make up for bad UIs and bad touchscreens, where you're allowed to have fun on your phone, and where the web is an important part of life, not an afterthought (as it clearly is with Internet Explorer Mobile).
    Reply
  • aebiv - Sunday, July 18, 2010 - link

    Yes, we're improving the UI, that is for certain.

    However, there are somethings such as RDP and signatures that will never be "finger friendly" so why are we in such a rush to be complete rid of the stylus?

    The iPhone has had exchange issues both in synchronization with the latest phone, and with the first couple generations in "faking" the security policy enforcement for exchange.

    Can I push out apps and security policies to an iPhone from a central location? No. Can I use it as a messaging device? By all means.

    Yes, Apple has a lot of apps out there, but so many of them are worthless IMHO, Android is doing a bit better with that I'll admit, but they still don't have a great GPS application.

    I don't understand how you mean there are far fewer apps for WinMo, as virtually all the old ones still work and are still around, and new ones are still being made. One only has to look at Omarket or the XDA application to see all the new apps out for it.

    Question though, the iPhone still doesn't allow for network diag tools like packet capture and such right?
    Reply
  • nangryo - Sunday, July 18, 2010 - link

    That's why you need to wake up and get out of your distorted reality dream ok. Reply
  • aebiv - Sunday, July 18, 2010 - link

    Why do you hate someone who has different needs for a mobile phone OS so much?

    Are you really that insecure that everyone has to use what you use?
    Reply

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