Principal designer for Windows Phone explains how Kid’s Corner came to be


Instead of VPN and a Notification Centre Windows Phone 8 introduced a number of features which seemed to be directed towards the more family-orientated side of smartphone use.

Examples of these of course include Family Rooms and Kid’s Corner.

Kathleen Holmes, principal designer for Microsoft’s Windows Phone, explained to how some of these features came to be.

“One day I looked at my phone and realized I had almost as many apps on it for my daughter as I did for myself,” she said. “My smartphone had stopped being just mine.”

In addition to working full-time at Microsoft, Holmes is also a mother of two small kids. “Tech plays a role in helping our family stay connected – keeping track of our schedules, our to-dos and each other,” she said. “And yes, sometimes letting my kids watch a video on my phone gives me a few moments of quiet to catch my breath.”

Apparently she was not alone, as a study by showed 75% of mothers regularly gave their phones to their kinds.

An effort to make this safer for both the child and parent led Kathleen and the team at Microsoft to build new parent-friendly features into Windows Phone 8, the most notable being Kid’s Corner, which also disables browsing, calling and purchasing, so you won’t have any surprises on your phone bill later.

“My kids like to make little video messages for me and post them for me to find later,” she said. “They can’t accidentally send or upload photos from Kid’s Corner, so I know everything they make is just going to stay on my phone.”

Do our readers think caring influence, which is virtually absent from male-dominated companies like Google and Apple, adds something unique to Windows Phone, or should the Windows Phone team be concentrating on the features which would bring Windows Phone up to feature parity with iOS or Android? Let us know below.