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Kin phones launched by Microsoft

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Kin phones launched by Microsoft

Microsoft has unveiled two new handsets in the shape of the Kin One and Two, which are the first from the tech giant to focus on social networking features.

The Kin One is a portrait full QWERTY slider with an almost square screen and body, whilst the Kin Two is a touchscreen mobile that also sports a concealed QWERTY keypad.

Microsoft's Robbie Bach said: "We built Kin for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family.

"This social generation wants and needs more from their phone and Kin is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most."

Despite coming from within Microsoft, both Kin mobiles do not use any version of Windows Mobile, instead opting for a proprietary operating system.

The list of three killer software apps includes Kin Loop, which is a unifying service to tie in multiple updates.

Kin spot brings video and photo sharing in with geotagging and Kin Studio is the cloud computing service that lets users store their data remotely for easy synchronisation and backup.

Microsoft has announced that both Kin mobiles will be exclusive to Vodafone in the UK and observers have both praised and criticised Microsoft for its move into the mobile market.

"Kin is an excellent example of when mobile and social networks converge. Different audiences have different needs and want optimised experiences," according to mobile expert Michael Gartenberg.

"It has one of the most clever user interfaces I have seen for a social networking device and I think it's going to put pressure on rival manufacturers, such as Motorola", added Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.

The main issue with the Kin mobiles, however, is that they lack the ability to download apps from a dedicated service such as the App Store and the Android Market and as a result some believe that they will be unable to compete with the likes of the iPhone.

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