Microsoft's new Kin
phones promise to let "Generation Upload" stay in touch with their friends via integrated, streamlined social networking. It's the main draw, the big selling point, the reason why teens, tweens and those who want to share pictures of huge fat men eating Chipotle burritos
will get one. But unless you hit a manual refresh button, Microsoft says Kin will only let you stay in touch in fifteen-minute intervals. That's how often the company's servers will ping Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Windows Live to grab info from the cloud. "We didn't want the device always pulling data from the network," said one engineer, citing battery life and immature social network APIs as primary reasons why. Our take? This might be how Microsoft intends to leverage cheaper data plans out of Verizon -- by subtly throttling data usage -- providing an always-on 3G experience at a tween-affordable price. We'll just have to see if "Heather M." appreciates that, when her clothing recommendation
is subject to a quarter-hour delay.