Microsoft's Project Pink handsets revealed as the Kin One and Kin Two

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Microsoft’s long rumoured Project Pink phones have been unveiled. Dropping the colour-coded working names, they have been revealed as the Kin One and Kin Two, two handsets which have a strong emphasis on social networking.

However, the phones wont be running Microsoft’s hotly anticipated Windows Phone 7 mobile OS, but rather an independent OS refined for web interactions.

“What if we took Windows Phone 7 and customised it for a social networking audience,” said Microsoft president of the Entertainment and Devices Division Robbie Bach, at the launch event in San Francisco. “Windows Phone 7 is about simplifying people’s lives, this is about amplifying their lives.”

Built by Sharp, both handsets are QWERTY keyboard sliders, with the Kin One square in shape and the Kin Two in landscape format.

The Kin One will features a 2.6-inch TFT, QVGA (320 x 240) capacitive touchscreen, a 5 megapixel camera, 4GB of storage, a mono speaker, and Zune media player capabilites.

The Kin Two on the other hand will feature a 3.4-inch TFT, QVGA (480 x 320) capacitive touchscreen, a beefier 8 megapixel camera, stereo speakers, 8GB of storage and the same Zune player functionality.

Both the Kin One and Kin Two will feature built-in GPS. The cameras look pretty smart too, with low light image stabilisation and a bright LumiLED flash.

In an attack on Apple, Microsoft said the phones were far more than just a grid of applications.

The Kin loop“, which lets users pull status updates from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or Windows Live, is one of the key features of the handsets, allowing you to access all your contacts without jumping from application to application. “It’s a magazine of my life,” said the handset’s project manager.

With Bing, obviously, the default search provider, the lsat big feature in the handset’s is set to be something called the “Kin Studio”, which automatically backs up all your texts, pictures, videos and contacts and organises them into a digital journal.

The Kin One and Kin Two handsets will hit the US in May on the Verizon Wireless Network, with most of Europe and the UK receiving the phones from Vodafone sometime in the Autumn.

Gerald Lynch