The hashtag #windowsphone is a promoted trend today on Twitter, but the top tweet with that hashtag isn’t likely to be the kind of publicity Microsoft was looking for. “Kind of sad that MS had to promote #windowsphone,” wrote Twitter user @alpesh_shah . “Can’t image Apple or Google needing to pay for a hashtag promotion.” While other Twitter users are simply glad to see the software giant’s attempted return to mobile domination marked by a bit of social media marketing, many of us are wondering whether said return is ever likely to occur. Once upon a time, Windows’ mobile offerings competed well in the marketplace. These days, however, Microsoft’s mobile OSes have dipped to around 15% market share, according to recent numbers from Nielsen. But the latest Microsoft-made operating system, Windows Phone 7 , has given some cause for hope. The design language of the OS is beautiful, and Windows Phone 7 has been one of the platforms that’s shaped our conversations about the mobile market since its announcement in February this year. Nevertheless, when a few Windows Phone 7 devices debuted in the U.S. this week, sales were lackluster, to say the least.
Hamilton Chan is CEO of Paperlinks and Paperspring. Through its iPhone app and QR web platform, the just-launched Paperlinks platform makes context-sensitive marketing plug-and-play for small, medium and large businesses. The hyperlink is the fundamental building block of the Internet, and effectively ties reference points to useful content. Without the hyperlink, the web would be nothing more than silos of content lacking semantic connections. Traditionally, hyperlinks live in browser windows on desktop monitors. Today, however, some hyperlinks are moving offline, where they can be “clicked” by people roaming the real world. By printing a Quick Response (QR) bar code on any item — a lamp, the program booklet of an event, or a retail store window -– a consumer can quickly link from the real-world experience to rich web content via his smartphone. Using QR codes, jump points to the Internet can be placed anywhere in the physical world. The ability to place a QR code on anything offers opportunities for businesses and consumers. These are a few examples of how a business can leverage QR codes and turn real-world “clicks” into sales: You have been looking for the perfect lamp for your living room for a long time. You see the perfect one — not in a furniture show room, but in a hotel lobby. At the base of a lamp is a QR code. You scan it with your phone, click a link to “buy it now,” and purchase the lamp on the spot. You drive across town to purchase a leather jacket from a fashion boutique. By the time you arrive, the store is closed
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