We've been ushered out to lovely San Francisco today (well, actually, not
so lovely -- the weather is uncharacteristically yucky) to learn all about this mysterious "It's Time To Share" thing that Microsoft has been cooking up. The popular rumor is that a new line of handsets (Pink
?) are en route. Stay tuned!
10:32AM Robbie's wrapping up... stay tuned for some hands-ons!
10:32AM Talking about the reactions Microsoft's gotten: "Oh gosh, Kin is couture software!"
10:31AM Robbie's back on stage.
10:31AM Awww, no dates or prices today. "You should look for Kin in stores next month, in May."
10:31AM "We are very honored to be the exclusive service carrier partner for Kin in the US."
10:31AM We see where John's going... you need 3G for Kin to really be useful, and Verizon's falling back on the standard "we've got a huge, reliable 3G network" argument.
10:30AM "Video and picture capture quality is incredible... it's better than the Flip."
10:29AM Naturally, they're showing a Verizon 3G map... yes, in red... on the display.
10:29AM "We knew we needed a partner as passionate about this audience as we are." And now we've got Verizon's John Harrobin on the stage.
10:28AM "We knew we wanted to do this on a global basis, so Verizon and Vodafone were an obvious choice."
10:27AM "We needed to work with a few key partners to make sure we could bring this to market." Now he's talking about Sharp... "they've done a fabulous job."
10:27AM "I hope you're as excited as I am to share Kin with the world." And Robbie's back on!
10:26AM Now we're getting a little demo of Kin Studio. All Silverlight... pretty slick. There's a timeline you can scroll to see your photos over time as you took them, and naturally, they're all geotagged (you can see them on a Bing Map, if you're into that sort of thing).
10:24AM Ha, Derek's talking about the fact that dumbphone users frequently need to hang onto their old phones because they have no idea how to pull important pictures off. To solve that, Kin's getting bundled with a web component (the "cloud" if you will) called Kin Studio. All your pics and videos from the Kin device are automatically there.
10:23AM The Kin Two -- the bigger of the two phones -- shoots HD video with its 8 megapixel cam.
10:22AM So you've got pretty much your full Zune UI here... if you're planning on getting this, go ahead and toss your Zune HD. Unless you want more than 4 or 8GB of storage, that is.
10:21AM "We are the first Windows Phone to ship with Zune." Touche, Derek... touche.
10:21AM You can type from pretty much wherever to pull up a Bing search, and it's location aware. That's good, though we'd expect no less from a 2010-class device.
10:20AM We're seeing the browser now, which also supports the Spot, so you can drag pages to share with your BFFs (or enemies, whatever you like). Good stuff.
10:19AM We'll admit, this part is cool: the Loop orders and prioritizes new status updates by the priorities that you assign your contacts. The more you care about someone, the more frequently you'll see their updates.
10:19AM Derek's Kin has Engadget's feed on the Loop! Good call, Derek... good call indeed.
10:18AM Now we're seeing another one of Kin's truly unusual features, the "Spot" -- it's a little green dot at the bottom of the screen where you can drag stuff (pictures, whatever) to share with your friends.
10:17AM The core of Kin -- the home screen, if you will -- is something they're calling the Loop, where status updates, feeds, and so on get aggregated.
10:17AM Ooh, Microsoft had some of its focus group participants do a "deprivation study" where they were separated from their phones for a full weekend. Ouch!
10:16AM He's pimping how easy it is to update all your social networks at once. That's cool, but Blur does that too. Nothing unique there.
10:16AM So he's got a Kin in his hand now, and we're seeing what he's doing on the overhead displays.
10:15AM "Some of you may have already seen photos [of the devices]... some of you may have even posted photos." Snap!
10:15AM He just announced it: Kin! And here's Derek Snyder, senior product manager for the Kin team.
10:15AM We just saw "Pink Experience" flash on the display behind Robbie... in case you needed any more confirmation that Pink was the codename here, there you go.
10:14AM Bach's saying it on no uncertain terms -- Windows Phone 7 is the "generic" smartphone platform to target a broad audience, Kin is for a specific subset of super-connected kids.
10:13AM Uh oh, we just heard our first mention of "truly, madly, deeply." Sound familiar?
10:12AM "In February, we announced Windows Phone 7. We're creating vthe best multi-purpose experience we can. Zune, Xbox Live, et cetera. But as we were working on it, we said wow -- we have an opportunity to target a specific audience."
10:11AM "They expect their life to be a multi-screen life. They expect it to work on their phone, their PC, and ultimately their TV." Yet another way to push the "three screens and a cloud" mantra, we'd say.
10:10AM "There are five billion pieces of content shared every week. We call it lifecasting."
10:10AM "We came up with this concept of friends, friends, and friends." Sounds like he's not making sense, but he's explaining -- it's all about compartmentalizing your hundreds or thousands of Twitter and Facebook follows into different categories by how close you are to them.
10:09AM Video's over. "So, this social generation really does have a point of view. They think it, they do it, and they have a mantra for it."
10:08AM "I'm a student. Facebook is my second job that doesn't pay."
10:08AM "I just saw a huge fat man eating a Chipotle. I want to share that with the world." We're not making this up -- the dude on the video just said that.
10:08AM So these kids are talking about what they hate about their phone, what they want from a phone. We see where this is going.
10:07AM Wow, these kids are real. It just got really real in here.
10:06AM "I guess the best way to tell this story is to go the customers. We spent thousands of hours with them to understand their needs before we wrote a single line of code." Video time!
10:05AM Robbie Bach just took the stage!
10:05AM Lights are dimming, music is growing louder... then softer! It's a rave in here!
10:04AM "Good morning, please take your seats. Our program will begin in just a moment."
10:03AM Ross "El Diablo" Miller has just taken a picture of his screen viewing kin.com. That's what liveblogging is all about, ladies and gentlemen.
10:02AM We've been asked to silence our phones, so that's a start.
10:01AM Hey, we've just been tipped that kin.com is up, so that's that -- there are the phones. Meanwhile, we're still waiting for the event to get underway!
9:48AM We've taken our seats, our ears greeted to the glorious sounds... well, we don't know actually. Some singer-songwriter fare. And "glorious" here is a term used quite liberally. Sorry, just thought we'd share.