5 Reasons Nokia's New Windows Smartphone Will Be a Hit

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Lumia 900There may not have been hordes of people camping out at AT&T (T) stores around the country over the weekend for Sunday's debut of the Lumia 900 -- a Nokia (NOK) smartphone. But there's plenty riding on the $100 device, especially for Microsoft (MSFT).

Lumia 900 is the flagship phone of Microsoft's fledgling Windows Phone, the mobile operating system that Microsoft hopes hasn't arrived too late in the game to take on Google's (GOOG) Android and Apple's (AAPL) iOS. And consumers may indeed quickly warm up to a device, despite its currently unpopular mobile operating system. Here's why:

1. Microsoft Is Pouring Billions Into Promotion

When Nokia agreed to crank out a series of handsets based on Windows Phone last year, CEO Stephan Elop boiled it down to money.

"The value transferred to Nokia is measured in Bs not Ms," Elop said at the time, implying that Microsoft was paying the Finnish handset maker billions -- not millions -- to back Windows Phone. Lumia 900 may be the flagship smartphone, but there will be a lot more models rolling out in the coming months and years.

It's not the only way that Microsoft is paying up to make sure that the Lumia 900 gets noticed. Beyond the heavy in-store promotion within AT&T centers, Microsoft also launched a celebrity-backed "Free-Time Machine" campaign where it will reward 200,000 instant prizes through select city initiatives and a new FreeTimeMachine.com website.

2. It Gives On-the-Go Workers an Office Suite

There may be a lot of people with cynical opinions when it comes to Microsoft, but its Office productivity suite is the top dog in its field.

There's a good chance that you deal with Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents on a regular basis. Sure, there are plenty of third-party apps on other smartphones that let you work with those documents, but this is the only platform with an Office Hub that lets users seamlessly manipulate the files on their phones.

Despite all of the rumors of Microsoft offering Office for iOS -- something that may very well happen -- the Lumia 900 is being pitched for the premium productivity that is built into the handset.

3. Microsoft Is Greasing Developers

"There's an app for that," has been one of the rallying cries for the iPhone. The handsets aren't cheap. The wireless carrier data plans are expensive. However, iPhone owners know that they have access to hundreds of thousands of applications -- and many of the good ones are available for free.

Many developers were initially hesitant to support Android, but the popularity of the open-source platform created an audience that was too large to ignore.

If developers had any say in this, that would be it. Why port a hot title to as many mobile operating systems as possible? Having dedicated teams for different devices, and their perpetual updates, doesn't come cheap.

Microsoft knows this, and that's why it's making sure that it now has many popular applications among the 70,000 it currently offers during this week's launch. According to The New York Times, Mr. Softy is cutting checks to help offset some of the development costs that run between $60,000 and $600,000.

Love Angry Birds? No problem. It's coming too.

4. Gamers are Going to Love This

Sony (SNE) tried to blend mobile with gaming when it teamed up with Ericcson to put out the Xperia Play smartphone last year. The handheld gaming device it introduced domestically earlier this year -- PS Vita -- pitches the mobile element of on-the-go gaming.

Sony hasn't gained a lot of ground with either product; the same can be said about Sony's gaming presence now that Microsoft's Xbox has become the platform of choice.

Xbox LIVE is a built-in feature of Windows Phone.

For now, that means little more than checking out achievements and Gamerscore tallies. Xbox LIVE subscribers can also see when their friends go online. An Xbox Companion app promises to let Lumia owners control their consoles, but likely in a limited fashion.

However, with tens of millions of Xbox LIVE subscribers, a phone that connects gamers to their diversions is obviously going to help Microsoft.

5. The Price Is Right

Selling for half as much as the cheapest iPhone 4S -- even if it's tethered to the same two-year contract through AT&T -- is also going to boost sales.

Microsoft has more than just its reputation at stake here. It means business, and it's willing to cut big checks until it succeeds.


Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Nokia, Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple.

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14 Comments

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Jim

I have a Windows phone and when the contract is up I won't get another. It's really a great phone but the problem is apps. So tired of hearing "Company Y offers apps for Apple and Android" Makes you feel really left out. I feel like a third class citizen.
Also downloading Zune was a real problem and you have to have that for downloads, etc.

April 11 2012 at 6:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vlady1000

Geeze, I am still trying to figure out my I-Phone. Too many things I will NEVER use. I saw a family (parents, 2 teens) eating in an airport resturant the othe night.In 30 minutes a word was never spoken, only "the nose in the phone" with the two kids.....very sad

April 10 2012 at 10:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lpi2007

I can give you 5 good reasons Not to buy them. #1 reason, they're junk That's why they pay 5.00 dollars a piece for them and sell it to stupid people for 400 dollars, LINE UP IDIOTS and give them your money or food stamps......

April 10 2012 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KELLI2L

I hear such bad things about AT&T reception.... I'm very leary about signing on to it... plus I hate contracts...

April 10 2012 at 9:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JusticeForMartin

I have to get one to play with.

April 10 2012 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jetncat

This windows phone is great once you try it you will never have anything else!

April 10 2012 at 12:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lpi2007

these followers would buy a turd if it has a digital screen on it.... That's my invention coming soon to stores near you. called the smelly IPUD.

April 10 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doom2ruler

@suec8
1)Windows ME was an attempt to give non-buisness consumers an OS that they they "wanted." Since when does the consumer know what they want? As for Vista, my desktop and laptop ran Vista before any of the service packs. Want to guess how many crashes I had? None. How about re-installs or system restores? Zero. Most of these so-called bugs came from people trying to use ancient hardware on modern PC's and people trying to act like Vista was going to be Window 95 Variant 6.
2) If Office is so "obsolete," then why is everything that is made as open source little more than a dumbed down and lesser-functioned MS-Office translator, and not very good ones at that? As for Google Docs, show me where they are taking over any real corporate work.
3) MS dealt with hackers because they were the big, easy target. All this "Evil Empire" crap has nothing to do with it. As was once said to me, "Why bother doing anything that'll only affect a small group of people if you're trying to make a name for yourself?" That's the real reason why Windows was so frequently hacked.
4) You don't know what the prices will be until they are out and about. As for free software, who says that there won't be, as there is in the Android market and the iOS app store, a paid app and an ad-supported variant? It's become the running buisness model for direct-distribution software and Microsot shouldn't be dumb enough to ignore it.
5) As a PC tech, once for a Rent-To-Own facility called Colortyme and later as the in-home service tech for Dell Computers on the Delmarva penninsula, I've had to rebuild my fair share of OS's, either from ground up or from system restore. There was never any begging or difficulty in getting a system up and activated in my numerous rebuilds, just a few minutes on the phone or even online if I could get that far. As an XBox360 owner who suffered through RRoD and an optical drive failure, it took me no more than 15 minutes phone time to get my RMA's out and have my 360's repaired and returned. The only better customer service that I've ever had was through Blizzard!

My point? Pointing to "facts" that can be easily countered or are just outright fabrications to prove your point is just a bad idea. Your extreme dislike of MS that you make obvious makes your post seem more flaming than anything else.

This is coming from an Android phone user. I'll probably look at this phone out of curiosity, but I'm not going to hail it as a failure simply because it's a MS-based product. I'll give it a good fighting chance and compare it Oranges for Oranges. Can't compare Apples to anything, seeing how last-season tech it is... :)

April 10 2012 at 10:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
laptopcity

I love my windows phone. It does everything and more. Would never go back to Android.

April 10 2012 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
heath

Only if people knew... Microsoft is GREAT. My pc, xbox, win phone, and yes my zune, they all connect flawlessly with windows live ID. I love it.
Download a show on my xbox through zune, it shows up on my pc. Drop my music and videos in win media center watch them through my xbox over my wireless network. Control my pc and xbox through my win phone, awesome. Other companies would brag about this cough "apple", but not microsoft, it is the way things should be so they do it.

April 10 2012 at 10:44 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply