Taking it to the people. How Nokia and Microsoft are getting you to meet Windows Phone.

Walk into any mobile phone shop anywhere and you’ll be greeted with row after row of rectangle shaped devices. How on earth does one choose which phone to buy when faced with this veritable sea of similar looking handsets? Nokia have done good work with their promotion of their Lumia range, often having dedicated displays to highlight the devices in stores but this alone does not sell devices.

As Windows Phone does break away from the standard looking icon-based user interface and offer something new, there is a need to tell its story. We checked in to the ‘Meet Windows Phone’ event yesterday evening to see what Microsoft and O2 are doing to engage the man and woman on the street.

Richard Edmonds - Hunting for treasure!

Lots of fun with the Tombola - Roll up Roll up!

In the absence of any retail presence in the UK, Microsoft work either on their own to host dedicated events or with their partners to create some. The event last night was held in an O2 store in London’s Westfield shopping centre. The shop was transformed with some additional seating, a fast talking cocktail engineer and ‘O2 angels’ to meet folks on the door with a drink and offer to try Windows Phone 8.

We arrived early and watched as the shop quickly filled with folks who had heard about the event through us, Facebook or were simply intrigued by the hubbub in store. If you took a demo of a Windows Phone 8 device you were given the chance to win some prizes. Microsoft’s dedicated demo guys were there and as ever were doing great work showing what live tiles are and highlighting all the unique features of Windows Phone.

Windows Phone 8 Demos

Windows Phone 8 demo funtime! 

We were also pleasantly surprised to find a dedicated Samsung representative on hand to show people the rarest of devices, the ATIV S and the ATIV Tab. The ATIV S is still unavailable to actually buy despite being the first Windows Phone 8 device to be announced so seeing it in a shop in any form is a bit of a treat. O2 have installed dedicated Windows Phone 8 retail stands in their stores which are awaiting the arrival of the ATIV Tab and the ATIV S.

O2 have been quite active promoting Windows Phone and they seem on the verge of taking that further. If only they had actual stock to fill those blank spaces in stores. The ATIV Tab seems like a great little tablet, it’s really light and easy to hold, we’ll be interested to see how well it sells. One customer immediately asked if it was a competitor to the iPad and quietly admitted that he hated Apples tablet while shouting over to his friends to come and take a look.

Samsung ATIV S and the ATIV TAB

Samsung ATIV S and ATIV Tab  - Look but you cannot buy!

The event was fun, informative and seemed to do the job of attracting passers-by into store to take a closer look at Windows Phone. We seem to be slowly reaching a point where shop staff and consumers are becoming more aware of what Windows Phone is but it’s clear these events are still hugely important. When faced with a sea of devices with similar colours and icons, Windows Phone 8 is really starting to stand out. Microsoft and its latest marketing efforts seem finally to be getting through, let’s hope they keep up this sustained push, the mobile market will move on quickly if they drop the momentum.

We’re keen to hear from you about how Microsoft is pushing Windows Phone where you are, let us know about events and offers. Comments below are open for business, speak to us. 

Robert Brand
  • We need more events like this around the rest of the UK. And as good as it is them having demo units of the ativ s and tab, wouldn't it make sense to try cash in on buzz and have units for sale? (get the sale before the customer leaves and buys elsewhere as people are going into these shops on purpose)
  • http://cdn.wpcentral.com/sites/wpcentral.com/files/styles/large/public/f...
    I'd love to stick my hand in that hole too
  • Pretty rare thing to fing a sexy UK girl... 
  • What is rare is a brain in that skull of yours.
  • Oh come on. He obviously has a brain because he used it to accurately point out something that you apparently don't agree with.
  • ....because she is from poland probably ;)
  • Dude, that's sick. Stop objectifying women.
  • He's talking about the tombola
  • How is it objectifying women? The tombola has a hole in the top. How you interpreted what was written is your sick mind at work.
  • Come on Rich, it's nothing more than an incredibly crude innuendo, which wouldn't have even been said if it were anyone else standing there. You know that shouldn't slide.
  • People take everything too seriously nowadays
  • Yea I'm really sick of degrading comments towards women being done nothing about.
  • And I'm really sick of your degrading username towards women breasts
  • Lol..nice one
  • Its a song numb nuts
  • More than one, to boot. :)
  • What's sick is you assuming he was talking about the woman when he was obviously talking about the drum.
    You should be ashamed.
  • I live in Sudan...and am sure am the only one who has a Lumia 920...in fact I have not met anyone with a windows phone who's not in my family. Nokia and Microsoft need to advertise here...Samsung gs3 is everywhere here...
    Everyone that sees windows OS simply loves it and asks me where can I get...i sadly always reply Dubai...there is zero advertising in this country
  • So it's not available in Sudan? Well that's probably the reason why there's no advertising. Hopefully MS brings regional support there soon. 
  • No man...neither wp7.x nor wp8...America has sanctions on Sudan, so I understand Microsoft's issue...but Nokia has got a distributor here and so does Samsung...but they don't sell windows phones...i had an Omnia 7 before my Lumia 920, and I couldn't even fix my broken screen...in fact they didn't even know what it was...i had to send it to Dubai...
    The thing is...there is a smartphone boom in this country...everyone wants a touch screen devise...for those that can afford it, its not much of a problem, but the rest r stuck with old Nokia phones...thats y I think Nokia can do amazing with its cheap line of wps here...if only they gave a shit bout this country
  • That's the reason why I bought wp7 in the first two place! Being unique!
  • Yeah...thats true...but I actually want the brand to flourish...i want them to be successful...this OS, for me, is better than anything that's out there...and I've used all that's out there...
  • Come to America where it's still hard to see WP in the streets!
  • Absolutely nothing of any sort of Windows phone 8,ads,posters,billboards,events,promotion in India. Disgusting! We are supposed to be the 2nd largest market after China for Windows phone. Come on Microsoft/HTC/SAMSUNG. Do something here!
  • That is interesting, shame to hear that arent doing more in India. Where are you based? RB
  • Near Mumbai(Bombay) A place called Thane.
  • Yeah nuts....we are at the top for the number of WP users and yet not a peep from even Nokia...rumour has it that they'll release the new lumias only in January...and we only have an 8x black which is always on backorder...sucks...:/ (Reporting from Bangalore)
  • Just sent strong emails to Microsoft,Nokia & Samsung! Hope this kicks them out of slumber. If all of them think we are not capable of buying high end phones then they are wrong! I was an early adopter getting a HTC HD 7 for ₹ 30,000 2 years back!
  • Maybe it's because you guys already know what time it is with Windows Phone.
  • Last time I was India, I was being spammed by Lumia 800/900 ads on the Telly every 2 minutes. Nokia even had huge booths set up in malls. I kinda get HTC and Samsung not doing much - but the Nokia brand still means something in India. Too bad they aren't doing as much for WP8. 
  • Come on Samsung...get it done!
  • Seeing commercials for both Win8 and WP8 on billboards, TV etc in Czech, good job MS
  • Good to hear its going off there too. RB
  • I work for O2 in the UK and all stores currently have a bay with live WP8 handsets (and dummy ones for the Ativ and 8S, out soon). Microsoft are doing inspections to ensure all stores are complying. Really good support for Windows Phones finally!
  • Any idea when are o2 getting the lumia 920 (or variant)?
  • One cannot appreciate how good WP8 and Nokia Lumias are with a dummy model.
  • If only O2 would show some commitment to the WP platform with their apps. MyO2 is a rubbish excuse of an app, and we still haven't gotten the O2 Money app.
  • Heavy ads here in Boston, ma :)
  • When I first saw the headline picture, I thought that was Natalie Portman promoting the stuff.
  • Haven't really come across any WP8 ads here. There have been a few for 7.5 when the lumia line became available in January, but that's about it. Some w8 ads, but those are mostly on laptop adverts.
  • I love how WPCentral still takes jabs at Samsung for the unreleased ATIV S. Yeah, Samsung deserves it, although they really don't care.
  • Ativ S: the virtual phone is what I call it. Why did they announced it as first while they can't deliver the phone to its end users. Also, the lack of information about why it is delayed so many times disturbes me a lot.
    Maybe I just go for the Lumia920 or HTC8X. At least, they deliver what they announce
  • Why would you even consider a Samsung wp8?? Nokia is the way to go!!!
  • Well here in California orange county.. Almost everyday I see ads on tv about wp8 and w8,people now know there's a WINDOWSPHONE,They actually recognize it..but until the app gap becomes close I can't really brag about it to much..because that's the first thing people ask...does it have Pandora (apple pips)
    What about flip board (android pips) I said ahhhh not yet...i suggest Xbox music but they won't pay for it...believe or not a lot of this iPhone users are cheap bastards!!!
  • O I believe it
  • WP already has good Pandora clients like MetroRadio.
  • There has been very little advertising here in Thailand, Nokia Lumia 920 has been sold out for close to 4 weeks. On opening day they shifted all 1000 stocked 920s according to the store management.
  • They need to place a rep in every store that has a high turnover to ensure their products get a fair shake. I have Dyson not because I wanted a Dyson but because a Dyson rep high jacked the vacuum cleaner department rocking from one sale to the next. The customers did stand a chance.
  • Have not seen any cute women greeting when I walk in at ATT stores. All I see are boring useless salespeople.
  • lol at Samsung
    A: hey look its amazing windows phone and amazing tablet
    B: ok i want both
    A: sorry you can't buy
    B: wtf :0
    they really need to release their phone
  • Here in Sweden there´s hardly any advertising or campaigns for wp8...I have seen a few ads for the windows 8 on bus-stops and roadsides + TV....But when you walk in to a mobile shop or big shopping malls for electronics, they don´t exactly promote the phone. And what seems strange to me is also that the windows-tablets are not hyped at all here. There´s hardly any on display in the shops and if there are, they are all the way back somewhere behind Ipads and Android-tablets...
  • And why are the windows tablets so expensive?? If they want to get people in the windows eco-system, I think they should lower the price a LOT to get people interested. Otherwise they will never switch. And the app-growth for "outside-of-US-apps" are way too slow in my opinion!
  • Having said that, I´m thinking about switching to 920 from my iphone. The only thing holding me back a little is the lack of the latest apps and that it takes SO long for the apps to show up for wp that by that time nobody uses them anymore.(games and so on....)
  • Here in the great white north, Rogers has been like a fiend advertisitng the Windows 8 Mobile experience on TV, no mention of the 920 that is in everyones hand in the commercial and no tablets shown either. But hey I see the ommercial all the time. Now going to a Rogers store and finding a working model is next to impossible, really hard to sell a phone when its just a dummy. But Bell who had abandoned WP for months has zero adveristing for the 8X but I see that phone everywhere. A friend of mine even bought one. So as much as I love Nokia they really need to out more pressure on the North American carriers to get their devices sold to the public. Som more Smoked by Windows Phone stuff might be good.