Something obviously needs to be done to kick-start Windows Phone 7.
Its market share has remained at very low levels, and it’s unclear how much impact Mango (Windows Phone 7.5) and the new Nokia devices running it have made. Thus far early indicators are running cautious to bleak.
However, Microsoft has further plans beyond the initial launch, naturally, and news has emerged of a marketing push in the US next spring.
According to Betanews, the Nokia Ace, a WP7 handset due out in the second quarter of 2012, is going to be accompanied by a marketing spend of $100 million.
Presumably most of that money will come from Microsoft, but Nokia and AT&T will also foot some of the bill.
AT&T is giving the Ace “hero” status, meaning it will push the handset in stores and with its own advertising. And make small capes for it. All right, maybe not.
The Ace is thought to have a large touchscreen at 4.3 inches, like the Nokia Lumia 900. In fact it may be the US version of the 900, and will certainly be built much like it, although no specs have yet been confirmed in concrete.
While $100 million might sound like a lot of dough to be chucking around, in the great mobile scheme of things, it pales in comparison to the launch budget Windows Phone 7 saw spent.
And looking at the lack of impact of the launch, you’ve got to wonder how much difference this will make.
Particularly when the likes of 1.8GHz quad core Android handsets are going to be available, with WP7 not making the move to Apollo and multi-core until the end of 2012.
Whether kick-starting the OS is even feasible now is looking increasingly debatable, but we won’t write the operating system off until we at least see what sort of market share the initial Nokia Lumia has grabbed.