While I am not someone who is a Luddite by any stretch of the imagination, I am not one who immediately adopts something on the word of just anyone, and especially not on the information provided in any sort of propaganda campaign.
That is why I am thinking that the Microsoft KIN is probably a phone that will appeal to the likes of 13 year old girls, who feel the urge to share every facet of their young lives, but that should be kept away from them at all costs.
After a viewing of the commercial running about this phone, and the fact that it runs on the Verizon network, I am convinced that the phone was designed by someone wanting to get back at Verizon for some perceived sin; and yet, it will make all our lives worse, by virtue of the fact that it is designed to take small bits of information and disseminate them like the bee in the wild, that takes great care to spread things around as it goes about its daily flights. The difference is that the bee causes no harm, and, from where I sit, the KIN does nothing but cause harm. Polluting the airwaves with multiple transmissions to update the user’s circle of friends sounds great if you’re 13, but to anyone over the age of 21, it should sound like bandwidth getting eaten up at a phenomenal rate.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, in his column on ZDNet, states that he knows of no one buying one, or that has already purchased one. A survey page has been set up, and thus far, only 13% stated that they, or someone they know had purchased a KIN – not terribly encouraging considering there has been a big push on the things.
There’s an unsubstantiated rumor going around that Microsoft has only sold 500 Kin handsets. I’m in search of someone who has actually bought one.
Personally, I don’t believe that this number is even close to reality, but that said, I’ve yet to meet someone who’s bought one, or who knows anyone who has one.
The really bad thing is that if phones like this catch on we will have two problems: The first is that Microsoft will be encouraged to make more phones – never a good idea, and, companies that provide the services, like Verizon will start charging more for each minute consumed, and we all will have to pay for the bandwidth hogging nature of these phones, while the days of unlimited data plans will go away with more speed than they might otherwise be pushed.
Thirteen year old girls, and those who exhibit the same traits, should be steered to an IM program, the wonders of CB radio, or perhaps the joys of long letter writing, and the beauty of calligraphy. Anything that will keep them away from the vastly overused wireless spectrum will be a great thing.
Steve Ballmer is oblivious either way, whether the KIN does well or not – he believes the things that Microsoft makes are always great. One only has to witness how long it was before an admission of the porcine nature of Vista came about to know that.