To spur sales of Windows smartphones in the UK, Nokia is offering free 30-day loans to small to midsize businesses with 100 or more employees. It hopes that since many SMB IT operations use Microsoft products, they might be more apt to consider trying out the Windows Phone 8 smartphones.
Nokia’s Lumia offerings should prove a decent fit for most Windows-driven SMBs in the UK. According to Adrian Williams, director of business sales in the UK and Ireland for Nokia:
The Nokia Lumia product range is the obvious choice for businesses looking to optimise their mobile strategy in a cost-effective way. Each phone connects to employees' SharePoint, Lync, SkyDrive, Outlook and Office already in use, so they can pick up the work they started in the office right where they left it.
Though the company’s B2B marketshare has increased over the past year in the UK, revenues have not risen and sales on Windows phones fell from 8.8 million in the third quarter to 8.2 million in the fourth quarter.
Business use of Windows phones has been offset by the competition, though. The BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 offering is in use in 80,000 enterprises in the UK. Apple’s iPhone has also proven to be a stiff competitor in the UK SMB market.
Nokia’s sale of its device division to Microsoft should close by the end of the first quarter of this year. The company discontinued its handset business operations in the last quarter of 2013.