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Microsoft Store swapping basic phones for Windows Phones

updated 05:15 pm EDT, Tue March 27, 2012

Microsoft aims to catch 1st-time smartphone buyers

At least one Microsoft Store is reportedly taking a new tactic to try and spur Windows Phone adoption beyond its controversial contest. An admittedly second-hand report from technology blogger Dave Zatz has Microsoft's Tysons Corner store swapping any phone with web access, including basic feature phones, with a Windows Phone. Shoppers would normally get a phone on the spot, although rain checks are being honored and include a $10 gift card in return for the wait.

The demand is purportedly such that it's triggering a rare instance of lineups at a Microsoft retail store. "When I left there were 60 people in line," the observer said.

Microsoft hasn't confirmed or denied the plan, although the lineup would be unlikely even for the official contest.

Windows Phone has been pitched from the start as a platform for those new to smartphones. Until now, however, Microsoft has usually only implied it through ads rather than making a direct attempt at courting those buyers. Its ongoing contest has been an attempt to lure Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone users rather than to take advantage of those that hadn't already made the transition to a smartphone.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    pay pay pay

    shame shame shame

  1. chas_m



    Actually, a smart move.

    Wow, a good idea from MS, who'd da thunk it?

    Look, nobody who has an iPhone is going to switch, and people who have the better Android phones aren't very likely to switch to Windows Phone either, so that leaves a pretty large but overlooked market: cheap b******* with feature phones who WISH they could afford a real smartphone. Windows Phone is likely to be a good option for them, particularly if they can avoid paying anything for the actual phone. I think it gets more people into the smartphone pool, just like the $0 iPhone 3GS and $100 iPhone 4 do.

    So, good on them, I say. There's nothing wrong with Company That Isn't Apple coming up with a way to get their product out there, particularly when they're not either falsely trashing Apple or just being an iOS wannabe (coughDRRRROIDcough).

  1. thinkman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Because Microsoft products essentially suck, they seem to have taken the course of least resistance. Rather than win market share by innovating, they are paying customers to be their customers, and developers to be their developers. How pathetic!

  1. chas_m




    You might be right, thinkman, but everything I've read about Windows 7 suggests that it's not so bad. It's not iOS but its a genuine alternative. Different strokes, etc.

    I've got no problem with genuinely original alternatives coming to market. Competition (rather than copycats) is a good thing in my view, both for Apple and for everyone.

  1. DudeMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    an act of desperation

    It seems that Microsoft is really desperate to get these things into people's hands.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Need to learn from America Online

    AOL grew phenonimally by mail dropping AOL CD's. Why doesn't MS just do the same?

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    fine with me

    and then when these people are tired of their Fisher Price "My First Smartphoneâ„¢", they will move up to an iPhone.

    Thanks, Microsoft!

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If you can't sell 'em

    give 'em away...

  1. BillAvi

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That people who are too cheap to by a smartphone are willing to pony up the extra $30 bucks a month for the plan. Kind of penny wise, pound foolish.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Competition (rather than copycats) is a good thing in my view"

    while i agree competition is good, this isn't "fair" competition. and while i have no problem with a company occasionally giving stuff away to stir interest this is something that microsoft has done repeatedly. and it's anything but fair. it's moneyball.

    look, they lost over 10 billion (yeah, that's own your own international space station kind of money) to keep xbox alive. you think sony and nintendo were sitting there thinking, well, competition is good? they've lost over 8 billion in 10 years on their web stuff (msn, hotmail, all their variations of search). now ballmer says they're ready to lose another 10 billion to get bing "competitive". google had lots of competitors, including all those variations of ms search. they didn't even advertise. now microsoft is going to throw train loads of cash at "competing" with them. this is good for who? alta vista? google? any newbie out there with a new search idea he wants to try?

    this is just what they do and though it meets the definition of "competition" it's hardly a level playing field. who can compete with that kind of losses?

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