The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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Entries in Kin (2)

Friday
Jul022010

Favorite Tweets Of The Day

RT@saschasegan: More sad, bad tales of KIN: http://bit.ly/dvjrX9 and http://bit.ly/bOcII3” MSFT took the Sidekick down with it. Strange trip.

Hilarious @CraigyFerg "a magazine is like a paper-y blog." They came before there was AOL.

Friday
Apr162010

Should Microsoft's Kin Be Considered the "Son of Sidekick?"

First published on Technorati April 13, 2010

The launch of Microsoft’s Kin carried with it many assumptions and expectations. KinFirst there was the Microsoft purchase of Danger, the operating system that powers the Sidekick. Since the Sidekick target customer was considered “young and social”, many reviewers and bloggers I spoke with came to today’s launch event expecting to see a “Son of Sidekick.”

The Windows Phone 7 launch, and the deep dive for developers at Mix10, lead some people to believe that Microsoft might not launch its own branded phone first, and many speculated that today's announcements might be about a Microsoft tablet.

Xbox, clearly a component of the Windows Phone 7 plan, has yet to be leveraged into a mobile strategy. And finally, the Microsoft launch of Kin comes a full two years after the last major Windows Mobile OS release, during which time Apple and Google have captured consumers’ hearts and minds with apps and more apps, establishing app stores as the primary battleground for smartphone operating systems.

So, like many folks who attended today’s event in San Francisco, I approached the launch with my pre-conceived ideas of what Kin would mean to the market and to Microsoft.

I had seen the leaked hardware, which is made by the same manufacturer, Sharp, that built the Sidekick. And I had seen early concepts of Pink long before Windows Mobile changed its name to Windows Phone 7. But to burden Kin with all of those expectations is to do the device an injustice. Kin deserves a fair shake at finding its own audience, and the time to develop its rightful place in Verizon’s device portfolio.

Sure, many people buy based on the specs of the phone, like megapixels and memory, that the industry calls “feeds and speeds.” And Kin doesn’t have the most and biggest of very much. But having the most of everything may not be what the audience for this phone really needs, because feeds and speeds add to the bottom line cost of the handset, and for Kin’s 18-24 year old target, budget may be a real constraint.