I am currently taking a few days off of uni and visiting family in my home town of San Diego, California. I decided that I should head over to the Microsoft store, since there isn’t one close by in Santa Cruz where I attend school, and I needed to clear something up with them anyways. I head over to the mall and head directly towards the direction of the store. Nothing could distract me from my goal… until about halfway there I find a table with some phones and a guy using a Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet. So naturally I’m curious and I walk over.
Turns out it’s a Microsoft kiosk called “The Personalization Station”, where they’re not only promoting the new Nokia Lumia 635, but also the recent arrival of Uber on Windows Phone 8.1. For those of you who don’t know, Uber is a popular transportation app that lets users connect with drivers around the world. I personally don’t use the service (yet), but it’s apparently pretty handy, especially when visiting new cities or countries. If you haven’t yet downloaded it, you can do so at the Windows Phone Store. With the Uber app, you can do the following:
- Request a ride using the app and get picked up within minutes. On-demand service means no reservations required and no waiting in taxi lines.
- Compare rates for different vehicles. Add a credit card to your secure account so you never need cash on hand.
- Easily set your pickup location on the map, even if you don’t know the exact address. Get connected to your personal driver and check the progress of your Uber at any time.
- Sit back, relax, and go anywhere you want. We’ll email you a receipt when you arrive at your destination.
One of the employees asked if I had a chance to play with Cortana yet, and I pulled out my Lumia 925 which I have running Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview. They all got pretty excited to see me with a Windows Phone, and before I knew it, I was given a choice of a free Nokia Treasure Tag or a Nokia Universal Portable USB Charger DC-19 (I call it the Tampon Charger). I went with the latter, since I don’t lose things too often, and normally find myself looking for more juice throughout the day. I chose a blue one (white and yellow were also available), and before I knew it I was also given a Cortana t-shirt, and a $20 Uber promotion code (above)! They also had cutely packaged M&Ms, which I handed over to my little brother.
It was completely coincidental that I ended up wanting to go to that exact mall where this was happening, and running into Microsoft employees on my way to the Microsoft store. Not only that, but I was already planning on purchasing the Nokia DC-19 Portable Charger as I was there, and instead I was given one! And for that, Microsoft just made my San Diego trip so much more enjoyable!