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Microsoft wants you to buy their products, to start offering cash for iPhones

Earlier in the month, Microsoft -- which would love for you to pick up one of its new second-generation Surface 2 tablets -- began offering iPad owners a paltry US$200 or more for a trade-in in hopes that you'd actually fall for the ploy, grab the cash and buy one of their beleaguered tablets. Now Forbes is reporting that Microsoft will be offering you a minimum of $200 for your iPhone 4s or iPhone 5 at some of the US and Canadian Microsoft Stores.

In this case, the trade-in promotion is part of the #timetoswitch campaign, and Microsoft is hoping that you'll ditch your nice and relatively new iPhone for a Windows Phone instead of an iPhone 5s or 5c. Not that Microsoft seems desperate or anything, but they also have an online campaign that started a few weeks ago where they'll take any Apple, Android or BlackBerry device in return for a Visa gift card. I wonder how much they'll give me for that third-generation iPod classic that's sitting on the shelf...

Forbes' Kelly Clay said it best: "Apple's impressive sales figures of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in the past few days mean millions of consumers are not only freshly tied into new contracts but overtly prefer the iOS platform over Windows as they waited to purchase the new line of iPhones -- and avoided purchasing a Windows Phone when they had the chance."

It's beginning to look like Microsoft's business strategy for the near future is to become the leading vendor of used smartphones and tablets.