Microsoft ensured Windows Phone 7 phones would be used by at least someone when it pledged over the summer to give away the devices to all 90,000 of its employees. Now the company is giving away Windows Phone 7 devices to the general public via a contest that runs from this week until Dec. 1.
Microsoft gave a peek at the first Windows Phone 7 products earlier this month when it formally announced its follow-on Windows Mobile in the race for smartphone glory vs. Apple (See: Windows Phone 7 vs. Apple iOS), Google and RIM. Microsoft’s current Windows Mobile OS recently fell behind Google Android in market share among U.S. smartphone subscribers, according to ComScore.
As Network World’s John Cox pointed out, the official Windows Phone 7 introduction wasn’t as inspiring as it could be, not that anyone was particularly expecting a Steve Jobs-like extravaganza. And Network World blogger Robert Mullins learned from AT&T that it does not expect huge lines of customers at its stores Nov. 8, when Windows Phone 7 devices go on sale in the United States.
Even early Windows Phone 7 customers should have a decent selection of apps from which to choose. Microsoft ‘s Windows Phone Marketplace has already hit the 1,000-app threshold. Among the apps to roll out: a calendaring app proposed by a single mom of four kids who won a Microsoft contest.
Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 partners include Dell, HTC, Samsung, AT&T and T-Mobile, among others. The revamped mobile OS is expected to get a look from IT shops figuring the technology will work well with existing Microsoft software such as Exchange.
A lucky few can win a Windows Phone 7 device via Microsoft’s giveaway contest. The company each week between now and Dec. 1 will give away a Windows Phone 7 prize package consisting of a Windows Phone 7 phone and a 12-month Zune Pass online music subscription. Five 1-month Zune Passes will also be awarded. Depending on the phone you get, you could be looking at a $200 value at the very least.
Bob Brown, who isn’t complaining about the company-provided BlackBerry Curve he uses, can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs
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This story, "Microsoft Giving Away Windows Phone 7 Phones" was originally published by Network World.