Microsoft dishing out free first-gen WP7 handsets at its stores

Microsoft dishing out free first-gen WP7 handsets at its stores

We all know that first-generation Windows Phone hardware did not sell like the proverbial heated flapjack, so what can Microsoft do with its leftover inventory? According to news today, it has a plan.

If you spend more than $499 at one of the 14 Microsoft stores in the United States, the company will give you one of the early Windows Phone handsets. That’s a quick, simple way to get more phones into the wild, and also to cleanse inventory channels in preparation for new hardware.

It’s never pleasant to see a company forced to stoop to such tactics, but as always, Microsoft has the cash to pull off the task. It can thus keep its OEM partners happy, and consumers feeling lucky.

What hardware is up for the grabbing? According to NeoWin, the LG Quantum, the HTC HD7, the Dell Venue Pro, and the HTC Surround are all pat of the deal. It is interesting to see that the Dell WP7 handset is included, given its myriad issues through its short lifespan. We now know that Dell is leaving the Windows Phone hardware game, at least for this cycle. The offer expires on October 28th.

From one perspective, this deal is effectively ‘buy a laptop, get a phone.’ You have to wonder how much flack the company will endure for this, especially as Apple continues to break its own records. It must be noted, however, that moves likes this are preparatory, and not overly desperate. Still, it doesn’t smell quite right, does it?

And of course, this could drive foot traffic to Microsoft’s nascent stores, which can’t hurt. Still, that is expensive custom.

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