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Microsoft to pay stores to recommend Windows Phones

updated 02:00 pm EST, Wed January 4, 2012

MS hopes to force WP7 adoption, spend 200m in sale

Plans between AT&T, Microsoft, and Nokia, to heavily market the Nokia Ace are just the start, Windows-focused writer Paul Thurrott claimed after tapping sources. Key to the strategy would be to pay store staff to recommend Windows Phones, giving them between $10 to $15 per phone depending on the quantity they move. Store workers have so far preferred Android and iPhones and usually turn to Windows Phone only if the customer insists on it.

While the earlier leak isn't necessarily inaccurate, as Thurrott argues, he does suggest from internal Microsoft data that the total Windows Phone spending will be closer to $200 million. This would involve Samsung and other Windows Phone suppliers, according to the tip. Nokia would be one of the most aggressive spenders and outlay twice as much on marketing as Microsoft itself.

Nokia is widely known to be unveiling the Ace, known outside of the country as the Lumia 900, at its January 9 event ahead of CES. The hardware may be a larger version of the Lumia 800 with a 4.3-inch screen and possible LTE-based 4G, but without fundamental changes to the processor or camera.

For Microsoft, the need to pay staff to recommend Windows Phone at all is an acknowledgment that the platform has so far failed to get traction and that neither the Microsoft nor Windows names are guarantees of success. While Nokia's first batch of phones has been critically well-received, it's unclear if they have created any tangible boost for Microsoft or Nokia alike.

The position at retail is once again considered ironic for Microsoft, which in the 1990s took advantage of retail staff often ignoring Macs. It now faces that same neglect for Windows-based phones and tablets. Among the problem has been hardware that has usually lagged behind what Google partners and Apple can manage, a software feature deficit, and hardware partners that themselves would prefer to sell Android.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999


    Paying the 'buyer' is the next move

    When the 'payola' scheme fails to work.

  1. burrblob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010


    Isn't that...

    ...called a bribe?

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2011



    Funny how thats illegal in music, but OKAY for companies like Microsoft to do so. lol

  1. DrSkywalker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2011



    "I like our strategy - I like it a LOT!"

  1. johnpford

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2010



    It's one thing to walk into a Apple or now a Microsoft store and know that the sales staff is biased. It is completely another though if sales staff of someone like Best Buy were to be bribed to sell MS phones. If this is true it just shows how I don't trust anyone when getting advice from any store. It also speaks volumes(if true) about Microsoft.

  1. ADeweyan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2004


    This is a common practice

    This sort of thing is not at all unusual. Do a quick search for "spiff."

    I remember way back to 1997 when I was selling Macs in Apple's bad-old-days. There was an offer of $40 for every PowerMac 7100 we could sell. Try as I might, I could not sell any of those puppies....

  1. facebook_Dana

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012



    Spiffs are very common and have been around for decades, which is exactly why I never listen to the recommendations of sales people. Do your research before you walk into the store.

  1. sunman42

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2011


    Shades of CompUSA

    Spiffs used to be the order of the day at CompUSA, if anyone remembers that store brand. (I know, they're Tiger Direct now, and actually have a few dozen stores again.)

  1. biff19a

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2012


    Why is it bad for Microsoft to do something everyo

    Work for a cell phone company and you will get spiffs by everyone, Samsung, LG, Motorola etc..
    this is no different.
    Its amazying that Microsoft gets bad press for doing something that everyone else has been doing for years...

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    Nothing new to sales

    This sales technique is nothing new and has been going on forever. Nothing to see, move along.

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