Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 devices haven’t done as well as expected, something Steve Ballmer accepted. The first generation of devices lacked hardware features like dual cameras and gyroscopes offered in iPhone and some Android handsets. (The soon-to-be-released WP7 Mango handsets will have these features.) Microsoft US has an offer running on their web store where for every purchase over $500 you can get a free WP7 handset. The handsets available are the first generation ones which leads me to believe that it is a stock clearance offer. My first thought when I learned about the offer was Microsoft can do better. Instead of $500, it should be $300 which is the price of the basic Xbox 360+Kinect bundle.
Xbox 360 and Kinect integration with Windows Phone 7 has been talked about on multiple occasions. The Xbox LIVE integration, ability to use the phone as an Xbox remote to control media and even a controller while playing games make a compelling case for owning the three devices. Mobile operator 3 in Sweden understands the ecosystem and they have by far the best Windows Phone 7 offer. With every purchase of a Windows Phone 7 device, you get a free Xbox. It can’t get better than this. I recently got an Xbox 360 with Kinect and am amazed at how intuitive everything is. All one has to do is plug the Kinect and setting it up can’t get any simpler! (Although using the Xbox controller for the keyboard is excruciating.)
Microsoft is preparing for the holiday season that begins in a few weeks and a lot of people will be spending a lot of money. Google’s ICS phones and Apple’s iPhone 4S will be on everyone’s lists, Microsoft needs to get WP7 devices in there and a shortcut is giving the phones for free. XBox 360 and Kinect, in my opinion, will be gadgets that families will consider. Games like Forza 4, Kinect Sesame Street, video content through Xbox LIVE make it the perfect living room television companion.
It is obvious that Microsoft is willing to give away phones for free, they might as well do it with a product that is expected to do well during the holiday season.
PS: The post title is inspired by Business Insider.