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Neat Trick, Microsoft

I’ve spent the last five minutes trying to size up WP7’s launch success to get an idea of whether or not I’ll be getting my $50 from co-contributor / arch nemesis David K. Beyond anecdotal clues and some Twitter analysis, no one’s really sure, partly because in NYC and in San Francisco Microsoft decided to do what they could to artificially pack the stores up with Katy Perry and Maroon 5 fans by giving out free tickets all day exclusively in AT&T dealerships.

That’s clever, this obfuscation even if it didn’t push many or any of those kids into buying a phone while waiting in line to get their free ticket, as the more successful your launch is reported to have been, the more likely you’ll add some weight to a snowball of success down the line. There are more efficient ways to distribute tickets, though they lack this fringe benefit. The fans were not the target of the move, everyone else was.

From the Washington Post, an analysis of Twitter traffic: “More people appear to be interested in a beta Web browser you can’t even download without requesting an invitation [than WP7].” Ouch.

The only anecdotal evidence I can offer you of the NYC Katy Perry’s concert goers’ experiences in these AT&T stores is from my wife, that she didn’t lay hands or eyes on any Windows gadget, and that Katy Perry was sympathetic to the crowd for Microsoft not buying everyone drinks given their success, pledging to make that happen in her next concert, but no mention of WP through her microphone.

Well played, Microsoft. By the way, Katy Perry appears to prefer Blackberries, but that’s neither here nor there. And Ballmer forbids his children from using iPods which, though it may boost Microsoft’s sales up by a couple units, is just mean, man.

Doug Simmons