New promo: buy Windows Phone 7, get Xbox 360 game

Facing extremely sluggish sales and a not-too-certain future, Microsoft is offering big enticements to get people to join the dark, er, Windows Phone 7, side.

In our opinion, Microsoft missed the mark from the beginning by not selling the device as more of an “Xbox phone.” Its marketing message of a device that pushes all your important content to you at once made it come across as a bit out-of-touch; Android and iPhone already have apps that can do the same thing.

But no other platform has connectivity with Xbox Live, the ability to unlock Xbox achievements, and chat remotely with your Xbox friends. Only Windows Phone 7 can do that, but Microsoft isn’t advertising that. Mistake.

Now, it’s trying to show off its gaming prowess by offering one of four Xbox 360 games as a free gift to anyone who wants to give the new platform a whirl. And these aren’t the typical “you have to choose from the bottom of the barrel” free games. These are actually four of the best-selling games on Xbox right now:

– Halo: Reach

– Fable III

– Kinectimals

– Kinect Joy Ride

Microsoft has tried all sorts of things to spread the word about Windows Phone 7, the most expensive of which was to give every single one of the thousands of Microsoft employees a free Windows Phone 7 phone. But we have to wonder how many employees actually activated service on their free device and how many turned to Craigslist to sell them.

Anyway, if you’re interested in Windows Phone 7 and this free game offer is tipping you over the edge, all you have to do is go to any retailer and activate a new WP7 phone. Then, go to this website, punch in your mailing address and your mobile phone number for veritifcation, and you’re al set.

The promotion lasts through December 31.