Nokia Rolls Out $99 Phones With Microsoft Software in U.S.

Microsoft’s latest attempt to gain market share for its mobile operating system comes this week with the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900, a $99 device.

In recent years, Microsoft has struggled to gain traction for its mobile operating system against more popular rivals, Apple and Google’s Android. The three-month average for the period ended Dec. 31, 2011 shows the Microsoft operating system was in 5 percent of mobile devices in the United States, compared to 47 percent for the Android, and 30 percent for Apple mobile operating system, according to comScore.

For this week’s campaign, Microsoft has set up “free-time” machines in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago to show how smartphones can help people complete everyday tasks, thus saving them time. The machines, which operate like ATMs, issue vouchers for free grocery delivery, free cleaning, and free dog-walking services, access to onsite personal concierges, and new Windows Phones to select prize winners.

In its 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report released last month, comScore suggests Microsoft could emerge as a strong contender in the mobile marketplace. ComScore said Microsoft’s Metro user interface promises to unify Windows-based phones, tablets, and computers along with a partnership with Nokia to serve as the primary platform for its smartphones.

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