A few months back, Microsoft held a special event for its first Microsoft-brand phones, the Kin One and the Kin Two. It was a bit of an awkward launch in general. The tech industry already knew all about Windows Phone 7 and was just counting down the months until its fall release. Then, Microsoft launched these two messaging phones out of nowhere and there wasn't a single person who was expecting it.
Though it was wonderful to see two Microsoft phones months in advance of the WP7 launch, the Kins weren't running Redmond's new Windows Phone 7 OS. No, despite being built on the same foundation as Windows Phone 7, their operating system was actually quite different and offered a more basic experience. These were messaging phones optimized for social networking and, ultimately, they were not successful. Verizon pulled the Kin One and Two off shelves just over a month after it went on sale. However, while we wrote it all off as a bad experience and moved on to more important things, like Windows Phone 7, it seems Verizon and Microsoft have not been so quick to abandon the Kin line.
Big Red is apparently bringing those two social networking phones back from the dead before the end of the year. PPCGeeks.com got their hands on a Verizon roadmap that shows the two Microsoft phones on a Q4 release schedule. It looks like they'll be returning as the KIN ONEm and KIN TWOm, but the phones look largely the same. The same except for one big difference: No $30 per month data plan! That's right, it looks like someone at Verizon finally realized that offering a feature phone with a plan meant for smartphones was a bit of a mistake. No specifics on pricing, release or new plans, but we'll keep you posted.