Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has been late to the latest generation of the smartphone party, and some might say that it won't make it at all. In its bid for an invite, Mr. Softy's lost serious ground by releasing subpar versions of its mobile operating system. None of them rivaled the user experiences of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone or Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android.

In this video, analyst Eric Bleeker talks about Microsoft's newest release, the Kin phone, which targets teens with an app-less interface, but social networking connections galore. Launch partner Verizon (NYSE: VZ) might be overstepping its bounds by requiring a data plan for the Kin, though. For a smartphone with a subpar web-surfing experience and no apps, is the extra cost worth it?

Eric Bleeker says the more anticipated Microsoft product is its Windows Phone 7 -- a mobile operating system that early previews suggest is better built to compete with Android and Apple -- due out later this year. But can Microsoft build a healthy, vibrant community around this new platform at this point in the smartphone game, or is it too late?

Eric Bleeker owns no shares of any companies listed above. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.