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Verizon Sets Microsoft Kin Prices, Availability

5/05/2010 01:28:10 PM Eastern

Basking Ridge,
N.J. - Verizon Wireless priced Microsoft's social-networking phones, the 4GB Kin One and 8GB Kin Two, at $49.99 and $99.99,
respectively, when they go on sale tomorrow, May 6, through the carrier's Web
site and on May 13 through Verizon-owned stores and other retailers.

 Kin One
 Kin Two
 The Kin One (very top) and Kin Two

Prices are after
$100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. The rebate takes
the form of a debit card. Purchasers must subscribe to a Verizon Wireless
Nationwide Talk plan and an email and Web for smartphone plan, which start at
monthly rates of $39.99 and $29.99, respectively.

Both phones, announced
last month, feature multitouch touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and Zune
portable media player (PMP) interface and capabilities for managing media. Also
like a Zune PMP, the Kins feature embedded FM radio and compatibility with
Microsoft's Zune Pass subscription-music service. It
connects to a PC via Zune's current PC software.

For social-media users,
the phones feature an onscreen section called the KIN Loop,
where users can view the latest updates from multiple social networks at one
time, including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. 
Another onscreen section, called the Kin Spot, lets users drop almost
any content -- including photos, texts and Web pages -- into one spot for
sending via text message, email or social network.

Other features
include 5-megapixel camera/camcorder in the Kin One and 8-megapixel
camera/camcorder with 720p HD video capture in the Kin Two. Both feature
anti-shake, autofocus and LED flash. Both also feature Microsoft's Bing
location-based Web search and full PC-like browser, which enables pan, scan and
zoom via touch gestures.

Kin One has a
2.6-inch screen and mono speaker, and the Two comes with 3.4-inch screen and
stereo speakers.

The phones also
let users back up almost all content on the phone to a password-protected Web
site for access via any Web-browsing device. Backed-up content could include
messages, contacts and photos.