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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

October 28, 2011 at 6:45 AM

Microsoft woos Windows Phone developers, consumers

Looks like Microsoft and Nokia lost no time in starting a promo push for Nokia’s Windows Phones. When Nokia execs this week introduced the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, the phonemaker’s first handsets built on the Windows Phone platforms, they promised to seed the devices widely and give the phones extensive marketing exposure.

That’s beginning already.

Nokia Lumia 800.jpg

Representatives from Microsoft and Nokia said Thursday at the Nokia World conference in London, where the Lumias were introduced, that they would be providing 25,000 free Lumia 800 handsets to developers who are committed to writing apps for the platform — starting at the conference itself, Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reported.

The two companies also said they plan to host 1,000 joint events including code camps and hackathons over the next year in order to reach 100,000 developers, according to ZDNet.

Getting developers enthused will play a crucial role in Windows Phone’s success. The Windows Phone marketplace currently has about 35,000 apps, and the WP team touts it as the fastest growing smartphone app store. But that figure is still far below the number of apps available for Android and iOS devices.

To reach consumers, Nokia has launched its first Lumia commercial (though not in the U.S. since the Lumia devices are not coming here this year):

[do action=”custom_iframe” width=”540″ height=”302″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/I1qTbs8K3go

[Update 3:48 p.m.: An Ars Technica article has more details — and photos — of some of Nokia’s marketing efforts at the retail level. And here’s another of Nokia’s promos for the Lumia:]

[do action=”custom_iframe” width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/rdMoRhfd1Sk

Separate from Nokia, Microsoft has been planning a series of parties and events across the U.S. over the next several months to promote Windows Phones.

In addition to Windows Phone parties, where Microsoft hopes indie bands and good eats will draw people to come take a look at the phones, the company is hosting “Windows Phone Inner Circle” events, where company reps will be providing hands-on opportunities with handsets. A Seattle event is scheduled for Nov. 21 at Pnk Ultra Lounge. The company is also holding a “backstage event” — whatever that might be — in New York City Nov. 7, as reported by CNET. That event will include Windows Phone President Andy Lees and Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president for Windows Phone program management.

Windows Phone has a lot of market-share ground to make up, as it currently holds only about 2 percent of the global smartphone market and less than 6 percent of the U.S. market.

(Photo of Nokia Lumia 800 and video of Lumia commercial from Nokia.)

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