Posted on 07-28-12 01:01 pm
So as Jessenic and I were exploring the Windows Phone 8 registry yesterday, he came across something of interest. Based on the limited information we have, this post should be taken with a decent amount of sodium.
In the Software key sits a subkey titled "Family", in which a subkey titled "KidZone" exists. This name, plus the configuration data it contains, leads me to the conclusion that Microsoft is planning to include a kid-safe mode in Windows Phone 8.
A simple Google search for the term KidZone gives us the trademarked KidZone app, which is described as
the first app of its kind to let any Android device owner lend their phone to their kids, other children, or even an adult and control exactly what they can do. You simply select from a list of all applications installed on your phone and load them into a password secured home screen that only permits access to the apps you included and nothing else!
Sounds self-explanatory. Basically, the idea is to allow the device owner to lock the device into a kid-safe mode, where the settings and more critical applications are disabled. How does Microsoft fit into this? Here's my theory. It's certainly very possible to implement this on WP8, and while the existence of the actual feature hasn't been proven yet, it's likely that Microsoft will add this at some point in the OS's lifetime. Of course, the feature will probably run under a different name, as "KidZone" is trademarked, and whether or not this will be cooked in any retail version is up in the air.
Still, it's an interesting discovery, and certainly something that could be pulled off easily, so it wouldn't surprise me if this turns out to be an unannounced feature that launches this fall.
Again, take it with some salt.