What is Kies?
Despite its stupid name, Kies is Samsung's desktop utility for getting various types of media - games, music, videos, podcasts etc - onto your phone from your PC (Windows only).
In technical talk, then, it's multimedia management software providing easy data backup and convenient purchase features so equivalent to Apple's iTunes for iPhone and Sony's Media Manager for PSP.
It's worth noting, however, that Kies currently only supports the Wave (S8500) phone.
For the record, the version I installed was v184.108.40.20674_2
This is the simple bit. Go to the Samsung Apps website (http://www.samsungapps.com/about/onPc.as) to download the .exe. You can also watch a tutorial video and download the user guide.
Once you've downloaded the .exe, do the usual double click on the desktop icon to start the installer.
This runs you through various steps such as choosing your country and language (see below) and what specific elements you want to install.
I needed a couple of attempts to complete the full sequence as it kept crashing for no apparent reason.
Note that the fourth step in the installation process requires the installer to download more files including .NET Framework. This took a long time - about 30 minutes. (For the record, I'm still on Windows XP so it might be quicker for newer OSes.)
You'll also have to restart your PC once Kies is installed.
Once you've finally installed Kies and booted it up, you see this nice user guide. It's worth quickly clicking through this to get an idea of how the various elements work.
Of course, you'll need to connect your phone to your PC via USB to be able to transfer files (or you can use Bluetooth if you have that supported on your PC and you're happy for transfers to take a long time).
In terms of the Wave, you have to shut down all running apps and widgets on the phone to be able to successfully connect.
You do this by holding down the main Menu button (the big diamond-shaped one on the Wave) on the phone and selecting the End all applications prompt. You will then see the Connecting the device prompt on the right hand side of the Kies screen.
Once you're connected, your Wave will say 'Connected' with a USB icon on its screen, while your device type and phone number should be displayed on the upper right hand side of the Kies screen.
I've partially hidden my number for reasons of national security.
Click on the cog in the far right of the Kies widget menu to open the Settings menu. This enables various options such as how Kies boots up, theme customisation, and selecting which widgets you want to set up in the main Apple OS X-style menu at the bottom of the screen.
You can also have direct icons to web sites such as YouTube and Flickr. You can see these on the far right of the screen, and can drag-and-drop content from your phone directly onto them.