Software giant Microsoft waded into the wireless handset market this week with the introduction of two new mobile phones—the Kin One and Kin Two—that are designed to facilitate social networking on the go for young consumers. Unveiled on Monday, the new phones represent a new direction in the wireless sector for Microsoft, which, until now, has focused primarily on developing mobile versions of its Windows operating system that are designed to facilitate access to e-mail and web-based applications on wireless phones. In recent years, Microsoft has lost ground in the mobile software market to Google’s Android system and to Apple, Inc., with research firm In-Stat reporting the installation of Microsoft software on only 13.1% of smart phones sold in the U.S. last year. Targeting teen and young adult subscribers who tend to be heavy users of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking websites, the new Microsoft handsets allow users to update their status directly on the home menu and to scroll down a touch-screen interface to read messages and obtain other web-based information. Manufactured by Sharp Corporation of Japan, the Wi-Fi capable handsets will be offered in the U.S. by Verizon Wireless in May and in Europe by Vodafone this fall. Pricing details were not disclosed. Observing that the recent release of the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating software “is about simplifying peoples’ lives,” Robert Bach, the president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, told reporters: “this social phone is about amplifying their lives.”