Microsoft announced the release of its “social phone,” KIN, today, a line that puts social networking front and center. Its prime motivation is to help people create and share update content. As you can tell by the fact tha

t the phone was announced in a nightclub, KIN, is targeting the younger, social demographic.

“We built KIN for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family," said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. "This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. KIN is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most.”

“We spent thousands of hours with thousands of customers to really understand their needs before we wrote a line of code,” Bach said at today’s unveiling in San Francisco.

To say that KIN’s task is Sisyphean is to understate. Thirty-one percent of teens plan on buying an iPhone in the next 6 months, according to Piper Jaffray, adding to the 14 percent who already own one.

There’s also the fact that ‘KIN’ is one-half the name of an existing – and well-branded – device.

When it comes to gadgets – like Bill Gates' insistence that tablets need pens – Microsoft is consistent in showing that it really doesn’t know much outside of software.

In the U.S., KIN will be available exclusively from Verizon.

By Mark Alvarez