In a move designed to drive customers through Microsoft's retail doors, and toward Nokia's Windows Phone Lumia brand in particular, Microsoft will begin to sell the unlocked version of the Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone exclusively in its brick-and-mortar stores.
About $900 will get you the Nokia Lumia 800 Entertainment Bundle, which consists of the unlocked version of the phone, the Nokia Purity HD Stereo Headset by Monster, the Nokia Luna Bluetooth Headset, and the Nokia Play 360° speaker. You'll have your choice of black or magenta (with a white speaker).
Unless you're dying for a smaller Lumia device that costs about nine times more than the larger 4G LTE version of the phone, I suggest you skip this "offering." For one thing, it only runs on AT&T's 3G network. (It'll connect to T-Mobile as well, but only at 2G speeds.)
Instead, Nokia lovers can wait two months for the Lumia 900, which is slated for a March 18 release date with AT&T, will cost just $100 with a two-year contract, and has a couple of stepped-up features.
Just a week after opening in-store preorders for the Lumia 900, Microsoft suddenly shut them down. A Nokia representative confirmed to CNET that ending the preorder is unconnected to this bundle. Microsoft PR was not immediately available for comment.
Although the Lumia 800 Entertainment Bundle officially goes on display February 26, Microsoft stores will sell you one now.