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November 7, 2011

Recap: Big Windows Phone wows New York City

A spur-of-the-moment marriage proposal. A Plants vs Zombies battle. A hip hop jam.

Sounds like just another day in the life of a Windows Phone, right?

Except this wasn’t any other day—or just any Windows Phone. All of these events took place within our mammoth custom-built Windows Phone replica, 150 times bigger than the real thing. Built to help celebrate the launch of our new U.S. handset lineup, the 6-story Big Windows Phone in New York’s Herald Square, not far from the Empire State Building, stopped hundreds of New Yorkers in their tracks. It also lit up the twittosphere, drawing the attention of fans and even some celebrities around the world.

“World’s biggest phone?” Entertainer Ryan Seacrest wondered aloud to his 5.4 million Twitter followers.

“We’re taking the trends to bigger screens to the next level,” quipped Windows Phone President Andy Lees to press and analysts at a smaller (and quieter) gathering a few blocks away.

The new Windows Phones from AT&T and T-Mobile—the Samsung Focus S and Focus Flash, and the HTC Radar 4G and Titan—also drew raves online. Better make a Windows Phone bib, suggested Mark Atkinson via Twitter, “for all those people out there drooling over their phone. This is gonna get messy!”

If you weren’t in New York today, here’s a tile by tile (make that 8’ x 8’ tile) visual diary of what went down. For more pictures and highlights, check out our official Windows Phone Facebook and Twitter channels. Ben “the PC guy” Rudolph was also there handing out free phones and tweeting. Finally, Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman gave The Verge a fun behind-the-scenes techie’s tour of the Big Windows Phone. Check it out.


Windows Phone is all about connecting people. And so for a short time, the Me tile became the We tile as New Yorker Yuriy Rud popped the question to his very startled girlfriend. Watch it unfold live.

A marriage proposal in the Me tile

Music + Videos

The electro hip hop group Far Eastern Movement drew huge crowds at their midday show.

Far Eastern Movement drew huge crowds


Windows Phone with Xbox LIVE is a game lover’s dream. So it’s only natural that two of the most popular smartphone games—Plants vs Zombies and Fruit Ninja—would show up in the Big Windows Phone.

A live Plants vs Zombies battle
Hai-ya! Fruit Ninja on the Big Windows Phone


What do you do when you’re in the middle of Manhattan and don’t know where or what to eat? Why use Local Scout to find some great local pizza. We used the Big Windows Phone to dial up a local joint for our midday munchies.

Yo! Who ordered pizza?