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Didn't Know You Had Kin Folk in Redmond? You Do Now

Forgive us for this fairly major departure from partner-oriented content, but we just couldn't let this pass unnoted: Wow, Microsoft, you really know how to reach the youth market. OK, we'll give you credit for the Xbox, but other than that, your record is kind of bleak. And it only got worse today.

Seriously, your new line of phones (which only adds to your complete mess of a mobile strategy) is called Kin. Really? Kin? You should have just stuck with Pink, the "code name" you used for this project for so long. So, now, we have not only Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone 7 (aside from, possibly, some other version of Windows Mobile to come -- you've lost us there, Microsoft), we also have Kin. Kin!

This is the phone aimed at the kids -- the one that's supposed to facilitate the Facebooking and the Tweeting and the texting and the other sometimes nefarious activities that the youth of today love so much. (Oh, by the way, parents, it just got easier for your kid to send stuff to his or her friends behind your back. Hooray!)

So, what image does Microsoft conjure up with the name of this new phone offering aimed at people who don't even remember the ‘80s? Why, one of an 1890s gold prospector, of course, or maybe a character from The Grapes of Wrath. Or the first thing we thought of: Jed Clampett after he struck oil and his "kin folk" said, "Jed, move away from there!"

At best, then, Microsoft has managed to churn up a (nearly) 50-year-old TV reference with the name of its new, youth-oriented phones. Look out, iPhone! The Clampetts are coming to get you, and that Granny can be a real pistol… Seriously, we Kin-not believe this.

What would you have named Microsoft's phones for kids? Send your ideas to [email protected]

Posted by Lee Pender on 04/12/2010 at 1:22 PM


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