05.17.10

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In Face of Linux Threat, Microsoft KIN Abandoned by Developers, Neglected by Young People

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 5:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android at Google

Original by Swampyank, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.

Summary: Microsoft is a distant third or worse because UNIX and Linux phones take over the planet, whereas Microsoft’s ISV advantage is wiped off this planet; Microsoft tries to turn Android (its worst nightmare) its a patent night mate

REALITY OUGHT to be separated from fiction when it comes to Windows Mobile (which Microsoft is sevenwashing at the moment). Microsoft has introduced something called “KIN”, but early reviews of it have been negative if not atrocious [1, 2, 3]. This is an excellent example of how far behind Microsoft has fallen (with Linux/Android leading the way). KIN is a relatively appalling product like Zune and SideKick which it is based on. Combining three failures like Windows Mobile, Zune, and SideKick won’t make a success, just as combining Yahoo! and Bong [sic] won’t make something better than Google.

As we showed some months ago, Skype and Adobe (among other key vendors of proprietary software and even free/libre ones like Mozilla) had abandoned Windows Mobile. Although it was announced or at least insinuated some months ago, the mainstream press is only now catching up [1, 2] with the fact that Skype works on GNU/Linux and Linux phones but no longer on Windows phones. ITWire‘s headline says that “Skype is everywhere – except Windows Phone” and The Inquirer says:

VOIP AND CHAT OUTFIT Skype is sending out confusing signals regarding its support, or maybe lack of support, for Windows Phone 7.

Earlier today Dan Neary, Asia Pacific VP and general manager of Skype, said that the firm decided not to support Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 7 Series operating system. Neary justified Skype’s decision by saying that the operating system had a “lack of user optimisation and partner support.”

The KIN will have many other problems, but the mobile chief left the company, which is revealing. There is no real plan for a renaissance and Microsoft can’t acquire Palm, either (HP is said to have just elected Palm's Linux-based OS to replace the porky Vista 7). It’s truly a messy situation for Microsoft and as I4U puts it, “Microsoft Has No Idea What To Do With The Kin”

Redmond’s mobile strategy has never looked more schizophrenic than it does now. Microsoft has no idea what to do with the Kin, or with WP7.

Microsoft has already insisted that it targets a niche with those relatively primitive phones. Microsoft named children as its source of lust here, so these phones were put to the test in the hands of the target audience, namely young people. How did that work? A disaster.

Matthew Miller, usually a fan of Microsoft products, has just published a very long review (Microsoft may have sent him a phone as schwag). He concludes negatively as follows:

I spent very little time myself with the Kin devices so I only have some basic impressions of using them. However, I agree with my middle daughter that the user interface can be a bit confusing and overwhelming at first. The menus and some other options are not always consistent across the devices and this surprised me a bit since the project has been under development for quite some time. With the social networking focus I was disappointed that richer Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter experiences were not present at launch. You can get a better experience with these services on the iPhone, Palm Pre Plus/Pixi Plus, Google Android devices, and other smartphones that are priced similarly to the Kin devices so I have yet to see any compelling reason for someone to buy a Kin.

In other words, the daughter would be better off with Linux.

BusinessWeek, which we've just named for criticism of Vista 7, published IDG’s review of KIN (some spell it all uppercase, some do not) and it’s not good, either.

These days, it makes much more sense to buy a smartphone that has an SD card slot and allows app downloads. That’s especially true since the Kins are going to have to compete with full-fledged smartphones such as theLG Ally, an Android-based smartphone that is being sold by Verizon online at the same price as the Kin Two. Granted, the 8-megapixel video camcorder in the Kin Two is a clear advantage over Ally’s 3.2-megapixel camcorder, but that’s not saying much, considering that that the Ally brings Android 2.1, with all its apps, to the table.

Once again they name Linux as the better option. Poor Microsoft. It cannot compete with Linux based on technical merit (pricing aside).

“Microsoft Did not Make Progress the Way Gates Intended,” says this other news headline which refers to Microsoft/Windows in “smartphone projects”.

But to me, nothing was extremely impressive to the extent that my socks would be blown off. At this rate and amidst this level of competition, Microsoft needs to step up on things and stop wasting time. Because sooner or later, someone is going to come up with something better so Microsoft needs to incorporate its ideas into something solid quickly and hit the shelves with a full frontal blow.

Microsoft would just give up if it hadn’t resorted to racketeering against Android [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Apple follows Microsoft’s footsteps here and it’s indicative of weakness, not might (more on that later today).

“I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. [...] We can’t compete with Lotus and Wordperfect/Novell without this.”

Bill Gates

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