Microsoft looking to drum up Windows Phone interest with 55-foot NYC installation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft has installed a six-story interactive Windows Phone structure in New York City's Herald Square as a promotional stunt to increase awareness of its struggling smartphone platform.



The smartphone replica is located "just a few feet away" from the world's largest Macy's Store in the middle of one of the city's more popular picnic areas, according to Engadget.



The oversized gadget features video feeds modeled after Windows Phone's proprietary tile interface. The tiles slide out of place to make way for live stage performances, such as a session from a calisthenics instructor.



Microsoft's event heralds the arrival of three new Windows Phone devices: the Samsung Focus S, Focus Flash and HTC Radar 4G. The company set up nearby pop-up showrooms for interested customers to check out the smartphones.



After a year on the market, Microsoft's reboot of its mobile phone operating system has yet to gain significant traction. But, Andy Lees, the company's executive in charge of the Windows Phone division, pointed out last month that Windows Phone 7 sold more devices in its first year than Google Android did during its launch year.









In fact, the Windows maker has been more consistent at touting its successes in reaching royalty-paying license agreements, which now cover more than half of the Android market, than actual Windows Phone sales. Some industry watchers believe that Microsoft makes more money from Android sales than it does from its own platform.



In July, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer revealed that Windows-based phone sales had gone from "very small to very small." The company released a significant update to Windows Phone, codenamed Mango, adding several new features in an attempt to address some of the shortcomings of the original OS.



Windows Phone sales should see a boost, however, now that Nokia is ready to join the fray. After announcing a partnership with Microsoft eight months ago, the Finnish handset maker announced its first handsets running the OS late last month.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    I have yet to even see a single wp7 phone in the wild. I think they are a myth, like the yeti or Bigfoot.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    I'll never count Microsoft out in the smartphone battle. If Android manufacturers get beaten badly enough in the courts they might all start calling Redmond. But there is no doubt Windows Phones are currently nowhere to be seen (except in Herald Square).
  • Reply 3 of 55
    You know, whomever Microsoft uses for event PR needs to fire themselves.
  • Reply 4 of 55
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    I don't see this as being a very effective advertising idea but I do hope it works. WP7.5 is absolutely brilliant. It's the 2nd best mobile OS on the market and shouldn't fall away because, to quote Pogue, "it's not popular because it's not popular."



    However, this being MS they can throw money at Windows Phone OS for years with blinking an eye. And with MS being the biggest profiteers from Android they can do it with indirect funds that aren't being funnelled from outside the mobile sector.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    Strange marketing, it just highlights the whole problem I've found with Windows Phones.



    They are too big to fit in your pocket
  • Reply 6 of 55
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,390member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post


    I have yet to even see a single wp7 phone in the wild. I think they are a myth, like the yeti or Bigfoot.



    I finally saw the my first WP7 phone in the wild last week while on a flight from LAX to SFO. Presuming she was not an MS employee testing the phone, I can now officially say that MS has sold at least one phone.



    Personally, I think WP7 is better than Android and more thought has been put into its development.
  • Reply 7 of 55
    Every time Microsoft gets a royalty payment for an Android Handset = Somebody paying good money to NOT use wince 7.5
  • Reply 8 of 55
    This abomination is tackier than a Microsoft Store. I'm sure it was the best idea Steve Ballmer could muster.
  • Reply 9 of 55
    tsatsa Posts: 129member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mac.World View Post


    I have yet to even see a single wp7 phone in the wild.



    Me neither, but I am very curious to those new Nokias. OTOH, I don't know if I want to buy something from a company that uses gorilla ways of getting money from stuff they don't even make (Android). At the moment I am very happy with my iPhone and I hope I won't need a new smartphone for the coming three years or so.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,593member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post


    Strange marketing, it just highlights the whole problem I've found with Windows Phones.



    They are too big to fit in your pocket



    Even if you want your own calisthenics instructor \
  • Reply 11 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    This abomination is tackier than a Microsoft Store. I'm sure it was the best idea Steve Ballmer could muster.



    Maybe he can be on the next Apprentice. Seems like an Apprentice-esque thing to do...
  • Reply 12 of 55
    Steve Jobs once said that Microsoft had no taste.



    This sure proves him wrong!
  • Reply 13 of 55
    laytechlaytech Posts: 127member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gari22 View Post


    Steve Jobs once said that Microsoft had no taste.



    This sure proves him wrong!



    I say bring on the competiton because the more there is the greater the iPhone will have to get and keep everyone working hard and to some extent honest. Without good old competition things can stagnate and with Steve gone apple needs to be driven.
  • Reply 14 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cy_starkman View Post


    Strange marketing, it just highlights the whole problem I've found with Windows Phones.



    They are too big to fit in your pocket



    Actually... some of us with very fat fingers and/or poor eyesight would prefer a 7-story phone.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by laytech View Post


    I say bring on the competiton because the more there is the greater the iPhone will have to get and keep everyone working hard and to some extent honest. Without good old competition things can stagnate and with Steve gone apple needs to be driven.



    I don't see how your reply is in any way relevant to my post.



    I'm all for competition and I think WP7 looks pretty cool, but this is a seriously tacky and misguided PR stunt.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    jrobjrob Posts: 49member
    Quote:

    Microsoft looking to drum up Windows Phone interest with 55-foot NYC replica



    In other news, Apple Insider looking to drum up Windows Phone story interest with misleading title about a 55-foot NYC replica. Though I must say, a 55-foot replica of NYC would have been a lot cooler than what they actually did.
  • Reply 17 of 55
    gotwakegotwake Posts: 111member
    If it had been 60 ft, I think I would have worked. But, just 55 ft??? Come on Microsoft!!!!
  • Reply 18 of 55
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,888member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    I'll never count Microsoft out in the smartphone battle. If Android manufacturers get beaten badly enough in the courts they might all start calling Redmond. But there is no doubt Windows Phones are currently nowhere to be seen (except in Herald Square).



    I agree -- so long as Microsoft has money to spend, they'll keep spending it on trying to make Windows Phone a success. There's no way they can concede the smartphone market.



    But it's going to be really hard. One issue of course is just the challenge of gaining traction in a market that they "entered" far too late. (I intend the word "entered" to be read with irony)



    I'm wondering, though, if there might be a second issue. I'm wondering if maybe ordinary people just don't like the tiled interface. The WP7 interface has won universal accolades among the tech pundits, even from enthusiastic Apple guys like Gruber. And while I've never used it myself, or seen it in person, I have always thought that it does look intriguing, original, and perhaps even elegant. But maybe from the perspective of regular folks it just looks confusing and weird. Maybe trying to cram so much information onto a single screen, even if crammed in the most elegant&efficient way possible, is just going too far. Also, while the techno-elite may deride the simple grid of icons on the iPhone as being "Windows 3-like", maybe ordinary folks find it familiar/approachable, for the very reason that it's an interface that they've been using for a couple of decades now. And then finally there's the uncanny ability of the techno-elite to just get things massively wrong sometimes, like when they almost unanimously panned the iPad.
  • Reply 19 of 55
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 638member
    i smell a flash mob.
  • Reply 20 of 55
    "D'you think he's compensating for something?"
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