This is the story of two polar opposites. It is the story of the Google everything I touch is gold, and Microsoft’s horrible attempt at a new mobile phone. Let’s start with the Kin. There is something interesting that ties these two together; Andy Rubin. Rubin was a co-founder of a company called Danger which was responsible for the ever popular Sidekick phone. Well, Rubin left Danger in 2004 to start his own company. In 2008, Microsoft was looking for a way to get back into the mobile device world and they purchased Danger for $500 million. That is when everything went bad. To make a long story short, Microsoft did not have its stuff together and things got crazy. THey wanted the Kin to run on Windows Phone 7, but it was going to be delayed. Rather than delay the launch of the Kin, they ended up putting Windows CE on it. So here is the politically correct answer. The Kin has no apps, a weak twitter client and no instant messaging. Yet it costs as much as all of the other more powerful phones and it requires an expensive monthly service contract. In today’s world, people want smart phones that can do EVERYTHING. What can the kindle do?
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The non politically correct answer is, look at that freakin thing! Call me a snob but even if that was a bad ass phone I would not buy it. It looks like a kids toy! It might be very useful if you knock the air hockey puck off of the table and don’t feel like going to pick it up. I don’t understand what Microsoft was thinking with this. It looks terrible and has limited functionality. Microsoft has already cancelled the Kin launch in Europe behind some extremely weak sales numbers in the US. Reports came in that only 503 Kin units were sold by the end of June!
Google, on the other hand, has got it going on. Back to Andy Rubin. He left Danger to start a company called Android. In 2005 Google purchased Android and put Rubin in charge of launching an open source Google created operating system. Google had none of the problems that Microsoft had during the design of the Android OS. Android was left open source which opens the doors to a while new world. And, it paid off! Android is now the fastest growing smart phone operating system with 13% of the market! Here is the dagger. Between February and March of 2010, Android grew 4% while RIM, Apple AND Microsoft all shrank! These are all signs of the strength of the Android OS!