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Windows Phone changes marketing strategy but will it work?

Microsoft went all out with the launch of Windows Phone 7 in 2010. It released several smartphones all at once and paid directly for a lot of its marketing and PR to help promote its new mobile operating system. But a year later the results have been disappointing with Windows Phone 7 sales still well behind the two leaders, Apple's iOS/iPhone and Google's many Android-based phones.

Today Microsoft launched a new promotional effort for Windows Phone in New York City, complete with a 55 foot tall Windows Phone display. But News.com reports that instead of putting a lot of eggs into one basket like last year, Microsoft will stagger the release of new Windows Phone devices over the next few months. That includes new smartphones from Samsung and HTC for the holidays in the US.

It also will allow smartphone makers to assist more in the marketing and promotion of their own smartphones. An example of that can be seen in a recent TV ad for HTC's Radar phone which you can see above. The commercial shows the Windows Phone 7 interface in action but only directly shows that Microsoft is involved at the very end.

Windows Phone head Andy Lees claims that the company is actually spending more money to market Windows Phone to the public but is spreading that effort out over a longer time period. But will that effort really work in the end? If anything the smartphone industry is even more competitive than last year, especially with the sales success of the iPhone 4S and the upcoming launch of Android 4.0 on the Galaxy Nexus.

Microsoft can spend a lot of money to make a big replica of a Windows Phone product in New York City but will that really get people to buy the real thing in the face of all the other, and better known, choices they can make for their smartphone buying dollar? The jury is still out on that decision.

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