Today Microsoft announced that the W1, Huawei’s first Windows Phone 8 handset, will become available in Walmart stores this month.

The addition of the phone to the Windows Phone family matters as, according to Microsoft, it will “use a no-contract prepaid plan.” Put another way, the device will be quite cheap. According to Huawei, its price will be “competitive.”

Microsoft is working hard to expand its lower-end market share in the smartphone space; Devices such as the W1 may have the ability to reach demographics for which the ownership of a smartphone is aspirational, and not a requirement for normal life.

To the guts: The W1 has a 1.2 gigahertz processor, a 5 megapixel camera that can shoot video in 720p, though not much, as usable internal storage is just 1.7 gigabytes. You can expand that with a microSD card, of course. The phone has a 4-inch screen, sporting a budget 480 by 800 pixel grid.

The W1 is no halo device, but in Walmart with a pay-as-you-go plan, it could bring Windows Phone a crop of new users. That’s precisely what Microsoft needs.

When we get our hands on the phone’s price, we’ll be sure to bring you that information.

Top Image Credit: Ben Rudolph