According to a report by the UK's Mobile Today, Microsoft hopes to cast a spell on smartphone buyers this holiday season, pouring $44.1M USD into promoting its new Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" operating system. Windows Phone has struggled in sales thus far, due to a variety of factors that including lack of in-store promotion due to smaller sales commissions and the deluge of flashier dual core/4G Android hardware. Still it has arguably the most innovative interface on the market.
Of that sum, $31.5M USD (~71%) will go to Nokia, Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V), Microsoft new special smart phone partner. Microsoft also plans to contribute a much larger undisclosed sum in terms of "in-store marketing deals" (promotions) to convince sales staff to evangelize the merits of the Windows Phone platform and, in particular, Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone handsets.
Nokia has recruited advertising talent to help differentiate its products via multi-channel ads placed on TV, on the internet, and elsewhere.
Aside from Nokia, Samsung will receive a large chunk of funding to assist it in promoting its new Omnia W Mango handset. That funding will go towards co-funding a $12.6M USD international holiday ad push for Samsung's new Mango handset. Samsung is the world's largest phonemaker and has been relatively supportive of Microsoft's efforts thus far.
Windows Phone Division president Andy Lees would not confirm Mobile Today's exact figures, but did comment, "It’s not good enough to have a ramp that's similar to other guys, you have to ramp faster. That’s what we are aiming to do this holiday season, and particularly into 2012."
For Microsoft the Windows Phone division -- like the Bing search engine -- continues to be a cash-hungry money loser. However, unlike Bing, which does not appear to have any major momentum towards growth, Windows Phone looks likely to gain at least some market share over the next year as in-store promotion steps up and Nokia's offerings hit the U.S. and international markets.