Microsoft had told us that the Kin and Windows Phone 7 platforms would grow closer in the future, and under heat for the Kin's lack of, well, features, they've said it again. Microsoft's phone strategy is weird.
Before the Kin shipped, Microsoft's Aaron Woodman hinted to us about Kin and Windows Phone 7's intertwining futures:
He wouldn't confirm anything, but did say that a few years from now, we shouldn't be surprised to see a point where the two platforms are more interrelated. That may sound like a typical Microsoft "mañana, mañana" promise, but given the rate at which Microsoft cooked up both Windows Phone 7 and Kin, adjustments to either roadmap probably wouldn't be that difficult.
To be honest, that sounded distant, vague, and less like a promise about the next generation of products than a hope for the generation after that. But today, in an interview with ComputerWorld—after the Kin was pummeled for its lack of maps, apps, and Xbox integration despite its high monthly price—Microsoft gets more specific:
Over the longer term, we'll be merging [Kin and Windows Phone 7] platforms and having downloadable apps.
Ok, so the Kin will get apps. But still, it sounds like the Kin that you can buy now may never have apps—he seems to be talking about the "merged" Kin, or the next-gen Kin, or a Kin that depends on a software update that's years down the road.
Microsoft and Verizon go on to defend the Kin's smartphone data pricing, saying that the online Studio feature will prove its worth to consumers, but this bizarre messaging, combined with scathing early reviews, is going to start making people wonder: Was the Kin a mistake? [ComputerWorld]