Microsoft giving away Windows Phones to frustrated BlackBerry users

By Tom Warren, on 13th Oct 11 6:46 am with 29 Comments

RIM BlackBerry

Microsoft is giving away 25 Windows Phone devices to frustrated BlackBerry users.

Ben Rudolph, Microsoft’s PC guy, offered the devices to BlackBerry users on Wednesday. Rudolph tweeted:

“#DearBlackberry users, Frustrated with your BB? Tell me why your want to upgrade to a #windowsphone – I’ve got 25 to give away”

Microsoft’s latest PR antic follows a number of Windows Phone related stunts by Microsoft employees. Brandon Watson, Microsoft’s senior director of Windows Phone development, recently bet $1,000 on Windows Phone 7 with the author of the comic strip Dilbert. Watson offered Scott Adams the chance to try a Windows Phone 7 device. If Adams didn’t like Windows Phone then Watson promised to donate $1,000 to a charity of Adams’ choice. Adams was impressed by Windows Phone. Watson has also previously offered Windows Phone devices to notorious iPhone hacker Geohot and the original Windows Phone 7 jail breaking team ChevronWP7.

Microsoft also offered webOS developers the opportunity to get a free Windows Phone device to develop apps. Over 500 webOS developers responded to Microsoft’s Windows Phone offer within 24 hours. Microsoft’s latest offer to BlackBerry users follows a three day outage of RIM’s BlackBerry services. BlackBerry BES and BIS services were impacted in Europe, Middle East, India and Africa on October 10, 11 and 12. The outage spread to the U.S., Canada and Latin America on Wednesday preventing users from receiving mail, BBM messages and surfing the internet.

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  • GP007

    Nice little PR move here, every bit counts even if the number going out isn’t something that’ll make a dent marketshare wise.

  • Tom Thumb

    Microsoft has doubled their user base in one fell swoop.  

    Congrats Microsoft, unless of course all they have done is to convert 25 people from being frustrated BB users to frustrated WP7 users!

    • Anonymous

      wtf dude

    • Lewis McCrary

      Obvious troll is obvious. ;)

    • Guest

      Welcome, new troll.

  • Sean M

    Personally I think all these free Windows Phone giveaways reflect poorly on Microsoft, especially when it’s trying to capitalize on the misfortune of a competitor (WebOS death, Blackberry outage, etc). It really makes them look desperate more than anything IMO.

    • Anonymous

      It’s an opportunity from Microsoft to show Windows Phone to other users, why not do it? It’s still about business after all.

    • appgle

      Well they are only giving 25 away. It’s mostly a marketing push to generate buzz. I think it would be seen as bullying and desperate if they industrialized it. Besides, what MS needs is a small army of die-hard fans, and I don’t think RIM folks want to join the Google or Apple masses. But an underdog? Maybe. I think it’s brilliant marketing.

    • Anonymous

      Nothing wrong with Guerrilla style marketing. The tech press goes out of their way to ignore Microsoft (unless it’s bad news). The “Gang of Four” (Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon) gets most of the press attention, so some creative marketing is necessary.  

    • Anonymous

      Really?  Many WebOS users and developers were on the verge of jumping the WebOS ship anyway, if they hadn’t already – given the miniscule marketing for WP, why not make those users ‘aware’ of WP by presenting them with an opportunity or an alternate platform.  At this point, the only ‘marketing’ outlet for WP is Twitter, because we definitely aren’t seeing an TV or print adverts for this product AT ALL!

      And if you don’t think that one of the first things that came to the frustrated BB user’s mind was ‘Damn, I am sick of BB; I need to get another phone’, then you are kidding yourself :)

    • Morgan

      Seriously? Isn’t sales about playing to your strenghts and other’s weakness? Doesn’t Sprint always bash AT&T about dropped calls? Business is business and when a competitor suffers from yet another outage then you take the opportunity to promote your product while their users are pissed. Your other example makes no sense. WebOS was dying on it’s own. MS simply threw the developers a life ring and offered them the opportunity to join. Apple and Google could have done the same thing but they were slow on the draw. Maybe you just hate MS but your opinion on how this reflects horribly on MS is shallow at best.

  • Leon

    Wow… Microsoft had no dignity, just takes advantage at any opportunity from competitors to attract customers, I bet Microsoft has been spending more on getting customers and market share instead of making profit… is this another Bing/Live fail??

    Ok, I understand, this is strategy, but why attacking the already weak competitors… go for the big sharks (Android and iPhone) instead of those little Nemo’s… LOLz… or is waiting for another sign of weakness, what low way on playing Microsoft….. SHAME on YOU!!!

    • davepermen

      This is not microsoft, this is one person at microsoft mostly. They just accept his ideas for being quite creative (and creating more buzz around the product than their official ads so far).

      And why the ones with problems? Because those are the ones who have a high chance of kicking away their phone and getting a galaxy 2, or iphone 4s. There are only two moments where it’s easy to get someone: The moment they are unsatisfied enough to consider a switch, or the moment their deal is over (after two years typically) and they can get a new phone cheap.

      So it makes perfect sense. And it’s quite fun to see how it’s rather popular and newsworthy (== successful).

      So no shame on microsoft. It’s quite a nice way to play the game.

      And yes, they need that grassroots way to spread the phones first, to be able to attract those who are happy with their phones (lots of android and iphone users). Getting them to switch does have to make sense for them, first. As long as they’re happy, there’s no sense in switching. But once others report on how awesome the switch to wp7 was, they get curious and grow envy.

    • Lachlan C McLeod

      thats why i love microsoft is because single employees like this guy have a voice instead of just the allmighty leader like other companies

    • Anonymous

      Except Jobs built Apple to $90 billion cash horde and global icon status now. Who cares about having single employees with “freedom”.

    • Penta2100

      -ArrowSmith. Obviously the employies. If I worked for apple and they took credit for my idea I would be pissed as duck. Microsoft would give them the spotlight. So I would work for mirosoft and get my credit while you would sit there in at apple and whine how they took your credit

    • Anonymous

      since when is RIM the small guy? They have been losing market share, but they are hardly small.

    • Anonymous

      Like Apple didn’t take advantage of the problems with Vista with their “Mac vs PC” ads?

    • AlokC

      Don’t feel bad for RIM/BB.  iPhone and Android phones are right next on the hit list :-).  MS will want to capture as much of the BB (enterprise) market with WP7, which stops iPhone & Android from stepping into business domain.  Then the assault will start on the consumer side.  It will interesting to see how the fight breaks out in 2012.

  • Anonymous

    I find these Microsoft employees to be quite hilarious and charismatic at the same time. They truly believe in their products with a passion and that my friends is something Android will never have. Maybe and probably Apple employees but it is something to consider when they do make these offers.

  • Wourelia

    This is obviously meant to create a trending topic on Twitter.
    I’ve seen worse Twitter marketing from Microsoft, like the Japan earthquake stunt.

    • Lachlan C McLeod

      you mean where they gave free money to japan victims?  how much money did apple or google donate?

      Microsoft gave 100k to japan while apple just put up a way to donate money in itunes..

  • Sardar Mohkim Khan

    First the Windows Phones to WebOS, now to BlackBerry.. iOS5 kept hanging now and then while we downloaded, any chance we get one too?


  • Anonymous

    I see no harm in doing this – he’s just trying to help get some folks into a reliable, stable ecosystem, and WP is the way!  The only thing is, if he only has HTC Trophy’s to give away, well, some may just decide to stick with their Blackberries :)

  • Tony

    I think if and when RIM release the BBM app for other phones they’ll see their phone sales drop off a cliff.  So many people I know who use a Blackberry just for the BBM app.

  • JT

    How about to frustrated ios5 customers. This upgrade was such a pain for me and I lost all my info. #windowsphone is looking really good right now

    • Anonymous

      Liar – your profile is in the iCloud.

    • Dodgingtroll

      Speaking of liars, did you find that forum link where users were criticizing the Titan’s screen?

  • Aresh_sarkari

    Before the Blackberry services go down again.. Want to wish everyone Happy Diwali, Happy Xmas, New Year :)