When Verizon first sent me the ONE and TWO for review, I setup both KIN on the same Live account. Much like Android’s dependency on you having a Google account for backing up a list of installed applications, Microsoft used its Live service with the KIN for total device backups and creating a complete user profile. I figured it’d just work fine to have both devices on one account.

It didn't. That was very, very bad.

I don’t think anyone at Microsoft ever expected anyone to have two of those phones at the same time. After last week’s announcement, it looks like Microsoft had even lower expectations for KIN acceptance.

While the premature death of the platform isn’t really a shock (the phones had glaring issues and ran an OS that clearly had no roadmap in a Windows Phone 7 dominated future), there were some key features Microsoft and its Danger team did better than anyone else in the smartphone market today.

Even when Palm’s future looked bleak, there were and still are elements of WebOS that we hope will someday appear in Android or iOS. The same can be said about what Microsoft did with KIN. It’s true that as a device defying categorization as either a smartphone or featurephone, KIN wasn’t around long enough to be remembered, but as a platform there are things KIN gave us that we shouldn’t forget.

What follows is an exploration of just that.

We hope that this will serve as a list of the things Microsoft did right with KIN, so that we might see these features in future smartphone platforms - including Microsoft's Windows Phone 7. We realize that although it's still selling, KIN is unquestionably dead. With any luck, Microsoft and Verizon will roll out one promised software update, and then let the short lived platform ride off into oblivion. Though this is a platform you'll likely never encounter in the real world (I know I've yet to), there's quite a bit that could still be salvaged, including one truly revolutionary feature unrivaled by any competitor today.

KINcredible Packaging
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  • Brentcsi101 - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    someone saying "Droid X" anyone?? But come on... between Android and iOS, there is nothing right now that can compete with them.
  • Diesel Donkey - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    You must have never used a Palm Pre or Pixi.
  • mrjminer - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    Yea, I was going to get a Palm Pre... but the cost of the required plan was far more than what I'm willing to spend for a cell phone. I ended up going on Craigslist and getting someone to transfer their SERO plan over to me for $75. Can't really beat $35 a month (after taxes) for 450 minutes, unlimited texting, and unlimited data -- I can deal with using a Palm Treo Pro in the meantime.

    As for the Kin, I really like the form factor of the smaller one. However, it will be tough to decide between WebOS and Windows 7 Mobile, assuming HP actually continues development on WebOS.
  • Stuka87 - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    Why would anybody buy a phone from a company that no longer exist?
  • mrjminer - Thursday, July 15, 2010 - link

    ..... "assuming HP actually continues development on WebOS."
  • inspire - Friday, July 16, 2010 - link

    Palm exists today just as much as Mobil does.
  • mcnabney - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    The WebOS devices have fallen into the same category as the Kin. A nice try, but too little and too late. If the Pre had come out on schedule (two years ago!) they would have kept in the race and likely not have been acquired by HP.
  • aebiv - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    Amazing how everyone is so quick to forget the most flexible and powerful mobile OS, Windows Mobile. Yes, Android comes close, but the roadmap for 3.0 doesn't look good locking down the UI more. Battery life? Why is it my HD2 with a smaller battery gets better battery life than the EVO? They're virtually the same phone hardware wise, just a difference in mobile OS.
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    "Amazing how everyone is so quick to forget the most flexible and powerful mobile OS, Windows Mobile."

    We forgot about it when the iphone and even others at the time made us realize how horrible it was to use.

    Only thing keeping WM alive before ver 7 is HTC and their skin.
  • aebiv - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    Horrible it was to use?

    How was it horrible?

    Quit making generalizations and give some points.

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