Microsoft formally showed off the fruits of its ‘project pink’. Project Pink was the code name for Microsoft’s ‘social’ phone project. Essentially, the phones are Sharp smartphones, running Microsoft’s Windows CE with a Motorola Blur like user interface. They took the best parts of the ‘metro’ interface, coupled with the Zune interface and wrapped it up with tight integration to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Two devices were shown: the Kin 1 and the Kin 2. Kin is the new, official name for pink. Kin is aimed at the ‘young, social networker.’ In other words, teens to twenty somethings are the target audiences. The Kin 1 is a squatty little device with a five megapixel camera, 4 gigs of storage and SD video recording. The Kin 2 is a larger phone with 8 gigs of storage, an 8 megapixel camera with HD video recording. Both phones are sliders and both contain the Zune software. Neither phone is a true smartphone, but they are also more than dumb or feature phones. Neither offer an app store nor is there currently any SDK or way for third parties to build applications. In fact, they lack a calendar and instant messaging. Microsoft, apparently, does not believe that the audience for these devices actually use IM. They may be right about that. I know few people in those age ranges who use IM. Most stick with texting.
The interface on the devices seems to also have taken a cue from webOS. Indeed, the Kin 2 reminds me of the Pre and several early reviews have also compared the keyboard to Palm’s latest phones.
The phones will be available in the United States in May from Verizon. They will be available, in the fall, from Vodafone in markets they serve, including the U.K.
Palm is for sale
According to a Bloomberg report, Palm has put itself up for sale. They have retained the services of Goldman Sachs and Qatalyst partners in an effort to find a buyer.
Apple approves Opera Mini for the iPhone
Hell must have frozen over or someone at Apple is in deep trouble. Opera Mini will be available from the iTunes app store within 24 hours and it will be free. This is particularly surprising since:
it duplicates functionality from Apple
executes several scripting languages (which a browser must do)
it’s a browser, not from Apple
Now, I suppose Opera could have gotten around all of this by rendering the pages on their own servers and just sending back the pre-rendered page. That would get around the interpreter piece and would also keep it from directly competing with Apple. Other ‘browsers’ do this, so maybe Opera is doing this as well. At any rate, it is a pleasant surprise, even though we are talking Opera here.
UPDATE: my thoughts on Opera Mini look to be accurate: Opera Mini on iPhone – Electronista