The Boy Genius Report (BGR) site is reporting that the high-end Nokia Lumia 900 is going to debut on AT&T for $99 (including a two-year contract).
The site also is confirming the March 18 launch target date for the Lumia 900 that was first reported by Paul Thurrott at the SuperSite for Windows earlier this month.
I've seen Microsoft documentation that makes me believe both the March 18 date and the $99 price are correct.
Microsoft needs to kick-start its Windows Phone business in a major way. The company brass knows that as do we, the 1.5 percent who've already bought a Windows Phone. Microsoft execs also know Windows Phones which have debuted here in the U.S. to date have been O.K., but nothing to write home about, for the most part. (I still have a lot of love for the HTC Radar 4G, myself.) The Windows Phones that shipped last year were too high-priced compared to the competition.
But if the Lumia 900 -- with a front-facing camera, 4.3-inch AMOLED screen, tight industrial design -- comes in at $99 to start, Microsoft potentially could attract users who haven't been wowed by any Windows Phones so far.
Couple that price with Microsoft's seeming willingness to up the marketing spend this year, including paying retail salesfolk the kinds of spiffs/incentives to which many are accustomed, and maybe there's a fighting chance for Windows Phone, after all.
Tom Warren at the Verge also unearthed today what seems to be a YouTube video by a Microsoft contractor who is employing the "Smoked by Windows Phone" moves pioneered Microsoft Windows Phone evangelist Ben Rudolph at the Consumer Electronics Show. If Microsoft doesn't take the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign -- which pits Windows Phone against other non-Microsoft phones to show off its speed in completing certain common tasks -- to the retail stores this year, they're crazy. Here's hoping that video is a yet another sign of a more aggressive marketing campaign on the phone front from the 'Soft.