Microsoft to pay AT&T reps $200 million in the U.S. to recommend Windows Phone models

Microsoft to pay AT&T reps $200 million in the U.S. to recommend Windows Phone models
If you can't beat 'em, pay someone off to beat 'em. That seems to be what Microsoft has in mind in order to raise Windows Phone sales in the U.S. The plan is to pay AT&T staff $10 to $15 for each Windows Phone handset sold as a direct result of a recommendation to a customer. Obviously, Microsoft believes that its mobile OS cannot compete on its merits alone at this stage in the game.

Looking at a chart of global OS marketshare, you can see that Android has been in a major uptrend through the third quarter of last year. Symbian's trend resembles RIM's stock price and iOS has been steady. The graph, based on data from Gartner, shows that Windows Phone had only 2.7% of the market by the end of last September.

Windows Phone had just a 2.7% share of the global market at the end of Q3 2011

Windows Phone had just a 2.7% share of the global market at the end of Q3 2011

Microsoft says it will spend up to $200 million on the plan. Will it be enough for Windows Phone to pick up marketshare? That answer will need some more time to see how things play out. But next time you head into an AT&T store to buy a new phone, don't be surprised if you are shown Windows Phone models first, even if you tell the rep that you want something else.

Some might look at this plan by Microsoft as cheating somehow, while others would just call it another form of promoting the software. What do you think? Let us know by commenting in the box below.

source: AndroidAuthority

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88 Comments

1. tech-head

Posts: 133; Member since: Sep 02, 2011

AT&T = Winning

51. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I dunno dude. This is the biggest reason why I will never walk into another cell phone store to buy a phone. This goes with sales in general, but especially cell phones. They aren't offering products that are going to work best for consumers, but instead offering what's going to make them the most money. I think most nerds order online anyway, but especially because of crap like this.

86. monsieurturtle

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

Arguably many people don't actually know what works best for them, and that's why the attendants are there. It goes both ways. I recall my dad talking about getting a smartphone on T-mobile, and I tried to guide him in the right direction (at the time, this was the Sensation 4G). Unfortunately, he thought he would need a physical keyboard, so he got the Samsung Gravity (which, amazingly, cost him as much as the Sensation would have). I was shaking my head, because as I expected, he warmed up to the software keyboard in no time, and went with an inferior device. My experience has shown me some pushy salesmen, but also many who seem to be giving honest opinions/recommendations, though sometimes uninformed.

2. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

thats what i wanted. i am in love with wp and i want to see it rising

9. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

please, do you have mass storage=old just FAT32 just because of Microsoft? :) at least we have mass storage but just FAT32.....it is a pity that Linux hasn't been more aggressive....because its been free

26. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

What do you mean?

64. InternetsTroll

Posts: 38; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

I'm 12 and wtf are you talking?

23. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

And how much did they pay you to say that?

67. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

250 million dollars a quarter. now go take your pill.

3. joeymk

Posts: 101; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

This is the ONLY way to show to ppl that Windows Phone is very good operating system.

25. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

By lying to them? That's great!

87. monsieurturtle

Posts: 4; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

It seems that the influence of marketing escapes you. You seem to be unaware of how carrier stores push phones (read: they offer commission bonuses to employees for certain models). A cell store will have 30-40 phone models on display. Most share 80-90% of the same capabilities, and most users couldn't care less what they get as long as they get the gist of the smartphone experience.

4. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

MS is loosing money from WP now and then........and always will because they don't have background like Google=money from advertisement MS=just money from Windows + Office so he will always loose money...their web money are always in red

6. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

so what? go and play with your android toy which are being pushed by those reps...

7. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

toy? didn't you know that iPad s sense is of 90 % a toy? read the statistics....read facts :) with an iPhone it is the same....just as a toy.....mostly games...see the facts :) and WP goes exactly the same way like Apple

10. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

iPad and Toy :-D

13. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

17. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

19. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

61. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Is that really news? It says that 71% of iPad users play games. Big deal. It doesn't say that 71% of iPad users use their device ONLY for games. And wouldn't you expect games to be in the most sold applications? Some people sue their iPads for reading and education, others use it for DJing, or photo editing, but everyone who owns one can play games.

5. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

@ p.a writer. please stop posting negative ......whatever they are doing, this is a wp news and it will be read by wp fans mostly, so they wont be happy to see what you are saying about the platform. just be positive. its marketing...anything is right if it is legal.

15. Contreramanjaro

Posts: 153; Member since: Dec 04, 2011

Meh, no one is surprised that Microsoft would need to do this. Even a WP fan looking at this will think it's a little dirty. In a buyer beware society it is expected that the consumer will find and support the best product so pushing money around to rope people in will always be seen as negative. That being said, this is a great plan for MS and the future of WP since it has been shown that sales reps are not pushing the devices. As far as whether PhoneArena should be writing this, hell yes they should. It wasn't really negative beyond the topic of Windows Phone is doing really poorly, which we all know. Microsoft is failing to sale the product. This is the same as Zune. It was better than almost anything in a ton of areas but no one knew about it and it wasn't cool. If you wanted a media player the store associate would say "have you seen the new iPods?" Not Zune or Zen. If you ask a rep for a smartphone they will say "here we have the iPhone and our 4G 'Droids.'"

8. 9_HeLLs_oF_DrOid

Posts: 127; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

Microsoft = Desperate for its platform...which is a good thing I guess..

11. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

yes....so Google will never fall a sleep......good for us :)

16. GALAXY-S

Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

lol ohh yea agreed!!

12. GALAXY-S

Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

i think its a good idea this will def help microsoft. Most of the product dont sell because people dont know about them. they are never educated of what it can do or the advantages over other OS.. or you can tell them its cool to have WP7 and they will also buy.. lol ive used windows OS and its pretty smooth.. i personally dont buy one because of the tiles ..

14. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Windows phones sales are quite poor and its no surprise due to the awful menu ui, os limitations, and a market with the worst free apps ever assembled on a smartphone. Its no surprise that Microsoft is trying to bribe sales staff into trying selling the phones.Even if myself and staff in my mobile retail store were offered this bribe it'd be hard to take as resulting the angry returns complaints would not be worth the hassle of a wp sale. The sheer fact is customers for the very most part don't want or like them and the big losers here will be folk stuck in 18 or 24 month contracts with a windows phone they hate or is far inferior to their friends rival platform os and all because a sales staff highly recommended the windows phone to them above everything else because of the commission

18. Contreramanjaro

Posts: 153; Member since: Dec 04, 2011

Some people like different things. There are lots of different types of people, surely someone in phone retail would know this.

27. Wyn66

Posts: 7; Member since: Aug 09, 2011

Reading your comments I can tell that you've never really used a Windows Phone and that's fine. You have your opinions/bias based simply on what you believe, your perception of the platform. But, the facts speak otherwise. I doubt you've used ALL of the free apps in the marketplace, so that statement is just hyperbole. 90% of the ones I've used are actually pretty darn good. As far as OS limitations, WP is not a geeks platform, which judging by what you've said, you clearly are. That's not an insult, just an observation. This is for the average consumer who isn't as tech saavy as you or I. Considering on every carrier in, and out of, the U.S. that carries WP phones, it is consistently one of the highest rated, I sincerely doubt there are a heckuva lotta returns (every phone has some). And, the opinions of all the tech pundits, journalists and bloggers is that WP is topnotch, not to be overlooked, and not to be trifled with. But, your opinions differ. Fair enough. However, you among other sales reps actively discouraging people from the platform is exactly the reason MS is doing this. It would be different if when people entered a store and asked for WP, reps showed them what they asked for. Unfortunately, this is quite the opposite. So, MS has decided to train/educate and incentivize reps to change this behavior.

35. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

But i do own a wp,infact most phone manufacturers give us phone for work use,essentially for all staff get used to and accustomed to the phones. So we get quite used to several different phone models and their pros and cons. Windows phones as a result from working with them generally aren't recommended. Also seeing as no customers ask for them then they are never mentioned either. Also i don't work in the US.

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