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Microsoft set to expand trade-in program with minimum $200 offer for iPhone 4S and 5

Microsoft looks set to continue its campaign to get iDevice owners to swap their Apple goods for a Windows Phone handset or Surface tablet with the reported launch this Friday of yet another trade-in program.

A couple of weeks ago the computer giant started offering a gift card worth a minimum of $200 in exchange for a “gently used” iPad 2, 3, or 4. The scheme is in operation at a number of its US- and Canada-based retail stores and runs till October 27.

And then last week it emerged Microsoft was running an online-based trade-in campaign with Clover Wireless – a firm specializing in take-back programs and recycling solutions – offering “up to $350” for pretty much any phone, tablet, or personal computer you care to think of, although its promotional material placed particular emphasis on Apple products.

Forbes reported Tuesday that Microsoft’s latest campaign, which according to an inside source at the Redmond-based company is expected to launch at the end of this week, is an expansion of the first of these two schemes, giving US- and Canada-based consumers living close to select Microsoft stores the opportunity to swap their iPhone 4S or 5 for in-store credit worth a minimum of $200.

But as Forbes points out, Microsoft’s timing looks to be a bit off, as many will have already upgraded to one of Apple’s latest handsets and so won’t be deserting the platform anytime soon. Perhaps the Redmond-based company is hoping to catch users of older iterations of Apple’s iPhone who are interested in a new handset but reluctant to splash out on either of the Cupertino company’s newest models.

Microsoft’s trade-in schemes are part of its #timetoswitch campaign which is seeking to persuade iDevice owners to switch to a Windows Phone handset or Surface tablet. The company recently posted online a bizarre #timetoswitch ad making fun of Apple’s new handsets but quickly deleted it.

“The video was intended to be a light-hearted poke at our friends from Cupertino. But it was off the mark, and we’ve decided to pull it down,” a Microsoft spokesperson said at the time.

[Image: Johannes Hemmerlein]

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