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Microsoft using Windows Phone speed tests to train retail sales reps?

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Microsoft appears to be using its "smoked by Windows Phone" challenge to train retail sales representatives.

Retail reps smoked by Windows Phone
Retail reps smoked by Windows Phone

Microsoft's "smoked by Windows Phone" bet proved popular at CES 2012, but the company appears to be extending its device speed tests to sales rep training. Brian Lalley, who identifies himself as a Windows employee, has posted a video of himself challenging a sales representative at T-Mobile. The rep fails to beat Lalley in a Facebook photo sharing challenge, and has to admit defeat in a similar way to CES attendees earlier this month.

The video highlights Microsoft's work with carrier sales representatives, an important part of marketing Windows Phone devices to consumers. Microsoft has previously been criticized for not putting enough effort into the retail presence of Windows Phone. One particular site, set up by a former Microsoft MVP, is designed for end users to tell their tales of Windows Phone retailers, and name and shame the bad ones. Microsoft seems to be taking note and addressing this with rumors of sales incentives and training. All this work is going on behind the scenes, as you can see in the video below, and is likely connected to Microsoft's $100+ million marketing effort together with Nokia and AT&T to launch the Lumia 900. Microsoft feels good about its trajectory with Windows Phone, but it remains to be seen whether market share will increase this year.