Microsoft has posted a new event on Facebook social network that should interest some readers. This weekend it will give away at least eight Windows Phone devices at every Microsoft Store for free via an instant win game called "Opportunity Rings".
Details on the game are scarce; it's unclear which handset or handsets will be given away. But presumably they'll be devices from Microsoft's recently acquired Nokia Devices unit.
The event may have something to do with Windows Phone 8.1, which is expected to roll out to Windows Phone 8 devices in the U.S. shortly as a free upgrade.
The Facebook page alludes to "tickets" for the event, but visiting our store's page just brings up a list of events. It's unclear whether this simply hasn't been activated yet, or if it's just some unintentional verbiage from Facebook.
For those unfamiliar with Microsoft Stores, check out the following link. You might be surprised at how many Microsoft has set up.
Microsoft's Windows Phone is currently in third place in the smartphone market, but has struggled to gain market share. The devices are largely outpriced on the budget end by low-end devices with Google Android, and outsold on the high-end as well by Android and Apple smartphones which enjoy higher brand visibility and consumer familiarity.
However, it's expected to gain traction with Windows Phone now offered -- for the first time -- to OEMs for free. As virtually every Android smartphone maker must pay a patent licensing fee to Microsoft, Microsoft now enjoys a key price advantage over Google. And as they say in Field of Dreams "If you build it [they] will come."