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Both Kin devices are designed by Sharp and reflect years of exhaustive Microsoft research into the hearts and minds -- not to mention usage behavior -- of younger mobile device users. On its official Kin Web site, Microsoft says it's ready to deliver the kind of mobile experience that will fit seamlessly into the always-connected life that younger folks lead these days.
"Your phone is your life, right? Well, this one has you, your friends, your conversations, your drama, everything -- all rolled into one awesome little package," according to the official Microsoft Kin Web site. "We saw how you talk, text, tweet and post in real life. Then we designed Kin to communicate as naturally as you."
Dulaney says users in the younger demographic Microsoft is targeting tend to rely more heavily on their mobile devices than users in other age groups. "These are people that may not be able to add two numbers together without a smartphone. They have grown up with these devices and have had them all their lives," he said.
One thing Kin devices won't have is the ability to run third party mobile apps from Windows Phone Marketplace. Microsoft says this is due to the deep integration of Kin's core social networking apps.
Kin One features a 5 megapixel camera with SD video, 4 gigabytes of storage, a mono speaker and a compact keyboard designed for one-handed typing. Kin Two, similar in design to the T-Mobile Sidekick, comes with an 8 megapixel camera with HD video, 8 gigabytes of storage, stereo speakers and a larger keyboard. Microsoft hasn't yet revealed pricing for the devices.
Verizon Wireless, Microsoft's exclusive Kin partner in the U.S., will begin selling devices next month, and Vodaphone will start selling devices in Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K. this fall.
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