Microsoft is having cheeky fun — and hoping to gain some customers — with giveaway offers of Windows Phones to frustrated BlackBerry and iOS users.
Research In Motion, the company that makes BlackBerry, was scrambling Wednesday to try to end a three-day global service disruption that left millions of users unable to access BlackBerry Messenger, the Web or their emails.
Apple, meanwhile, made its iOS 5 update available Wednesday morning. Shortly after, reports started flooding online forums and social networks about failed updates with people getting error messages or notices that the server wasn’t available. Some others said the update wiped out apps they had installed on their iPhones or iPads.
Ben Rudolph, a Microsoft senior manager who spreads the good word about Windows Phone, posted a Tweet Wednesday afternoon under his Twitter handle BenThePCGuy:
“#DearBlackberry users: frustrated w/ your BB? I want to help! Tell me y u want 2 upgrade 2 a #windowsphone – I’ve got 25 to give away.”
Then about an hour later, he posted:
“#dearios users: Sounds like you need some love today too! Tweet why you want to upgrade from #ios to #windowsphone – I’m giving 25 away!”
It wasn’t long before replies came in. Some examples:
“@BenThePCGuy i want to upgrade to #windowsphone because iOS5 upgrade makes me want to throw my apple products out the window.”
“With all the server errors for the ios5 update apple might have to do a tiered rollout like MS did with WP7. getting mad. #dearios”
“#dearblackberry remember that time I was on a phone interview and you randomly shut off? Thanks… #windowsphone @benthepcguy
BenThePCGuy tweeted that he would announce winners of the Windows Phone today.
[Update 9:23 a.m.: RIM says service is fully restored.]
[Update 2:43 p.m.: BenThePCGuy, who tweeted that he’s received more than 1,500 responses to the giveaway, has a list of the winners here.]