The early reviews of Kin (formerly known as Pink) are in. And overall, theyre not good. Most of the criticism is around price, with reviewers noting that Kins are fancy feature phones, not smartphones, but they are priced like smartphones. (There is no Kin app download capability and none coming.) Verizon is requiring a data plan that costs the same as ones for smartphones. Maybe Microsoft/Verizon are assuming some rich parents will be willing to shell out for their teens/twentysomethings to socialize?
Spindex: Microsofts latest social-networking spin. Microsofts FUSE Labs, the folks that brought us the recent preview of Office Docs (Office Web Apps integrated with Facebook), have released another new preview. This one is called Spindex. It sounds a lot like FriendFeed from early reports. FUSE Labs charter is to create social-network-centric apps and technologies.
The Wall Street Journal liked the Studio component of the new phones, but other reviewers are still scratching their heads as to why Microsoft felt a need to work with Sharp to create Windows Phones for a particular segment of the market, as opposed to pitching Windows Phone 7 devices to the Upload Generation.
Active Directory Federation Services 2.0 has been released to the Web. As expected, Microsoft has RTWd ADFS 2.0 (codenamed Geneva), its new iteration of its directory federation services. The ADFS 2.0 bits are available from the Microsoft download center. ADFS Geneva is a key part of Microsofts security/identity platform, as well as part of its Azure cloud operating environment. Microsoft also released to the Web today Forefront 2010 Protection for SharePoint 2010.
Microsoft and Nokia have rolled out their promised Communicator for Nokia release. The Communicator secure instant messaging client is available initially for Nokia E72 and Nokia E52, and is downloadable (English only) as of May 5 from Nokias Ovi Store. Over time, the pair will make Communicator Mobile for Nokia available pre-installed on select Nokia Eseries smartphones. Microsoft and Nokia announced their mobile partnership in August 2009.
A few Microsoft news items from around the Web