Sure, Nokia's already proven that it's possible to commercially support multiple mobile platforms at a time, but is it really a great idea? Even Nokia ultimately ended up collapsing Series 80 and 90 in to S60 over the years, but Microsoft's going in a distinctly different direction by rolling out Kin and Windows Phone 7 at nearly the same time (plus the spectre of WinMo 6.x, which'll undoubtedly soldier on in some niche markets for years to come). While both products share common underpinnings, they're different enough so that there's really no user-facing commonality beyond some shared compatibility with services like Zune and Windows Live, and frankly, we don't get it -- why not start from a generic, extensible platform like Windows Phone 7 and work outwards to create Kin as a specialized sub-product?
We chatted with Microsoft GM Matt Bencke today to get a feel for why there isn't more technical synergy between two products that obviously share the overwhelming majority of their DNA, and basically, the Reader's Digest version of the conversation is that they intend to get there eventually. "We're going to share more and more in terms of code," he said -- though we weren't able to nail him down to a timeline for making that happen -- ultimately agreeing that it was fair to say you'd start to see the platforms converge over time. If we had to guess, Kin's suffering from the fact that it was approved and set in stone before Windows Phone 7 even existed in its current incarnation, and it's going to take Redmond a little while to get the projects synced. See the critical portion of the talk on video after the break.