Microsoft and Nokia to give away 85,000 Windows Phones, because failure is not an option

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Microsoft and Nokia have a problem. The iPhone is perceived to be the best smartphone on the market, and for folks who don’t agree with that notion there’s Android. Where exactly does Windows Phone into that equation? It doesn’t. That’s why the two companies have decided that they’re going to flood the market with a total of 85,000 handsets to get themselves some much needed attention. Assuming there’s a neat 50/50 split between the Nokia Lumia 710 and the Nokia Lumia 800, which go for 270 EUR and 420 EUR respectively, that’s 29.3 million EUR worth of handsets being handed out to developers, bloggers, and “cultural influencers”. According to Mary-Jo Foley from All About Microsoft, 25,000 devices will be given to developers; BusinessWeek says the remaining 60,000 will be given to people who have some sort of “influence” or “klout” or whatever you kids call street cred these days.

Is this going to work? Will the “word of mouth” marketing technique give Windows Phone more than the low single digit market share it current has? It’s far too early to tell at this point since Nokia’s Windows Phones have yet to hit the market. What worries us is what Nokia is going to do in North America. Let’s be honest for a moment, as big as the markets are in Europe and Asia, it’s the developers in the land of cheeseburgers and milkshakes that make the applications that people want. If Microsoft can get those guys to acknowledge Windows Phone as being a credible alternative to what’s currently on the market, then the rest should sort itself out. Also, just look at the Nokia Lumia 800, it doesn’t bear any resemblance to anything else currently on the market. It’ll definitely turn some heads.

We wish Nokia and Microsoft the best, and are eager to see how Windows Phone matures. Right now it’s a fairly decent platform, but it’s Apollo, which will probably be called Windows Phone 8, that we’re really waiting to sink our teeth into.

  • The word of mouth strategy just works! It worked so far, and especially for Nokia, and it will still work because it does what Nokia’s motto says it does. It’s “Connecting people”!

    • You’re just saying that because you want a free phone. It’s OK, I want one too.

      • Quintus Murray

        free is the only reason to get it

  • Anonymous

    Who does not like free stuff, I want a phone!!

    • What do you do when no one wants your phones? Give them away for free!

      Wp7 is a big fail. Even Samsung Bada Outsells wp7

      • Mnbvc

        and wp7 is hardly released. Bada will be outselling wp7 for some time.
        Bada works fine too.
        It is Samsungs startegy to support every platform there is. And is seems to work well for them, as the worlds number 2 handset manufacturer – only behind Nokia. Almost every third handset sold is a Nokia.

        I’m sure WP8 will do better. But test the WP7. It’s OK, even though I don’t like the tiles. Ugly squares.. but it is effective, and Nokias tiles are good.
        I like the looks of Android and Maemo/MeeGo better. Even Bada and WebOS looks better. But still.. it is effective, and paired with Microsoft OS and software they may have a winning combination. Time will tell. Iphone gives me a bit of a Disney feeling. I’m not 8 years old. Give me options. But it looks miles better then WP7 tiles.

        We will most likely get WP7 phones at work. Even though we have a mix of Symbian Anna/Belle, Android and Maemo/Meego now. iPhone is forbidden from january 1 2012, for reasons I don’t know. It is the IT department that have orderd that.

    • Anonymous

      nokia wp 7.5 phones are the best phones on the market right now it outsells bada and android even before launching it 

  • Zak

    I want one (to jailbreak)!

  • “… because failure is not an option” 

    This move would appear to be admitting failure from the outset.

    • Perhaps, but if you were in Nokia’s boots wouldn’t you try everything in your power to try and get people to pay attention to your products? I’m sure Microsoft is paying Nokia for some of those 85,000 handsets.

  • Anonymous

    Yes Microsoft has a problem. They can’t just integrate Windows phones into their operating system for free and destroy the other leading phone competitors like they did to other browsers during the browser wars of the 1990’s. Looks like they have a problem.

  • Bazuooka

    It would be interesting, to jailbrake into tuxmachine, of course, but I could make a fuss about it on my local network. 

  • Anonymous

    Failure may not be THEIR option but I think Microsoft is being nailed to the desktop because of the incredibly bad behavior they exhibited in getting to the desktop. The end-users really don’t care about Microsoft’s failure.

  • Uduakeasuquo

    Word of mouth worked for facebook.

  • darwin dot

    Call it “Windows Wire”  phone 

  • blancdememoire

    I want one too ! How to make sure we can receive it.  

  • What do you do when no one wants your phones? Give them away for free!

  • Elop-Flop

    Failure is not an option… because it is an inevitability.

    Also, many of those so-called “cultural influencers” are really WP7 astroturfers.

    They may or may not be on MSFT’s payroll, but it is easy to recognize them.

    For example, they take offense at suggestions that the WP7 UI is unintuitive and ghastly ‘Fisherprice tiles’. They foam at the mouth when you say that WinMo (6.5) and WP7 are at their core, the same (which is true). “WP7 is NOT Windows Mobile! *rage more rage*.

    If WP7 were a hit, Samsung and HTC would have already garnered a double-digit marketshare without Nokia. The inclusion of Nokia would have been an icing to the cake, and not a ‘bet the farm, do or die’ gambit.

    Oh, and there is a very good reason why Samsung and HTC don’t place all their eggs in the WP7 basket when it comes to premium flagship phones.

    If sales numbers stink let’s see how Stephen Elop is going to explain it away.

  • Quintus Murray

    I will wait till apollo right now windows phone sucks

    • Anonymous

      Oh such insight. Why exactly does it suck?

  • Anonymous

    Microsoft or Nokia can tweet to @virtualCableTV to let me know how I may be considered to receive a free Windows Phone 7 which I would love to develop for but (in America) the device remains years behind the competition as it pertains to NFC which is now rapidly emerging as –the– next big thing in transactions and messaging.

  • Anonymous

    nokia wp 7.5 phones are the best phones on the market right now it outsells bada and android even before launching it 
    Jag fick en Lumia800 av min pappa den är så grym och så snabb spöar alla android telefoner även ics 4.0 bästa som har hänt marknaden

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