Here’s one way to get Microsoft’s Windows Phone into the hands of more users. The entire incoming freshman class at Seton Hall University in New Jersey will get a Nokia Lumia 900, running Windows Phone 7.5, under a partnership with Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T.

The announcement was made in conjunction with Microsoft’s TechEd conference in Orlando this week, where a Seton Hall administrator will be talking at a session on using the Lumia 900 for business.

The phones will come with a custom version of the university’s SHUMobile app, as explained in a news release announcing the agreement.

All Seton Hall students have access to SHUmobile, an app available across multiple platforms that provides access to campus news feeds, directories and maps. However, Seton Hall freshmen will have access to a custom Freshmen Experience component of this app exclusive to the Lumia 900. This personalized element adds customized social media integration and direct communication channels with their freshmen peers, peer academic advisors, housing information and roommates. Additionally, the University will leverage Nokia Data Gathering, recently made available for Windows Phone, to communicate with the incoming freshmen beginning this summer by conducting polls, providing information to help students prepare for college and to learn how the Lumia 900 and other technologies are being used.

PCWorld notes that Seton Hall has given out Nokia phones, Kindles, iPads and Android tablets in the past, but never before to an entire class.

(Via Gizmodo; Thanks, Isaac.)

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  • Guest

    Thank you Nokia, Microsoft, and AT&T, for supporting American education at a time when few men do so.

  • AnnGMorrone
  • Christopher Budd

    A couple of the comments over at PC world speak to the big question I’ve got: how does this work in terms of the subscription? Pretty much every kid these days walks in with a phone (and it’s plan) already.

    A comment over there says that the kids will get a free semester of AT&T service but then have to pay for service. I don’t know if that’s accurate but it sounds plausible.

    I’m a little uneasy at that fact combined with the “Freshman Experience” app being WP-only. I’m not saying they’re using it in a way that the students must use that app for critical school functions, but it comes close enough that it can start to feel that the school has struck a deal that will force their students to use AT&T, and that’s a tad concerning.

    But too, I wonder how much the incoming students will really use that app. Students these days (I’m given to understand) are very grassroots in their peer-networking such that I could see them viewing this as being as hip as the school-sponsored, alcohol-free ice cream social and choosing to skip it and just txt and Facebook their friends.

    Be interesting to see.

  • Guest2

    They desperately need to rethink their approach on this.

    Nobody cares about 3 months of free service (or a free loaner phone; we can all get “free phones” with a  2 year contract).

    The only serious gesture would be a free 2-year plan with the phone – That would allows kids to phase out or dump their existing service (and Mom & Dad would be glad to reduce or remove them from their Family Plan).  Better yet, a “turn in your phone and plan and get a freebie).

    Be aggressive, don’t be half-assed.

    Otherwise, just don’t bother.

    Mobile devices are far to PERSONAL to treat like a piece of technology.  If Nokia/Windows haven’t figured that out yet, then they are doomed.

  • Cmiller

    Well, that’s one way to get rid of inventory since they can’t make a dent selling them.

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