Microsoft is finally starting to make some ground of the mobile market and they are trying to take the bull by the horns while they can and not let it slip away from this new Redmond promotion. Microsoft — owners of the Windows Phone — are offering people $350 for their old iOS and Android devices in a trade in deal. Arguably one of the more bizarre things we’ve seen come out of Redmond in the last few years.

It’s a concept most have never thought about before — trading in one brand products in exchange for another. Normally it’s part of a company’s business module to accept their own devices as trade-in, but not a different company.

The only reason for this is that Microsoft is trying to advance the Windows Phone as much as possible and it sees this current time as a really critical moment in the smart phone industry. Just because they have started getting better, doesn’t mean that they are out of troubled waters; and evidently, they aren’t yet.

Microsoft has recently purchased a Nokia to try to possibly take ownership of everything that goes into the Windows Phone; a move that many had criticized when, fearing that it would lead to more of a negative impact on the Windows Phone, and not a positive one. Actually the result remains to be seen, however, because they haven’t produced any goods yet.

When all is said and done, that now leaves Microsoft with basically its own entire mobile division to work with, its own Xbox gaming company and of course, its own PC’s.

Microsoft also lost its CEO Steve Ballmer recently, who after struggling to pick up the mobile industry, decided to leave and give somebody else a go. Many had given up on Ballmer, and he felt responsible for Microsoft’s suffering because it was effectively his lack of effort to push into a booming phone market at the time. It then has them on the back foot ever since.

While the catchy promotion does mention cash, this is more the amount of cash you will save when purchasing a Microsoft Surface tablet and/or Windows Phone device.