Microsoft hasn’t quite been able to make inroads against Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. But the company is holding out hope that its partnership with Nokia, and more specifically the reported April 9th release of the Lumia 900, will help get it back in the game.
Of course, a lot of things need to happen for Microsoft to boost its smartphone marketshare in the U.S. above 4.4 percent. And one of those things, as expressed succinctly by a GeekWire reader yesterday, is knowledge and understanding of the people who are selling the devices at retail.
“Biggest problem: I walked into AT&T on Monday and asked about the Lumia and only 1 of the people working their knew what I was talking about,” wrote the reader.
Well, as it turns out, Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T may have a plan to rectify that situation. According to WPCentral, Nokia is paying some $25 million to make the Lumia 900 a “company use” phone for AT&T employees — which means that sales reps will be encouraged to carry the Windows Phone devices, possibly over the iPhone or Android devices.
WPCentral reports on what is dubbed the “company use” or CU program:
Nokia is expecting more than 80% of employees to be using their flagship Windows Phone for participation in the CU program (employees can opt to use any phone they want at a discount, but CU phones are provided for free), which should go a long way in convincing those employees the merits of the OS, resulting in positive word of mouth and high sales.
So, what will they be carrying exactly? Here’s a new ad for the Lumia 900:
Previously on GeekWire: Windows Phone Marketplace surpasses 70,000 apps… CES: Nokia Lumia 900, two early hands-on observations