Anyone who’s considering a new smartphone would do well to keep an eye on the high street over coming weeks.

From 21st April to 7th July, Microsoft is touring cities and shopping centres across the UK as part of its “Dare to Live” promotional campaign for Windows Phone 7, and will be offering cash prizes to smartphone owners who take part in one of its tests.

The promotion started in the US, where it pitted smartphone owners against Windows Phone 7 in a series of speed tests for certain smartphone functions.

Although there’s no news yet on what the UK tests will entail, US smartphone users were challenged to find weather reports in two different cities and share a photo on Facebook, among other things.

Anyone who manages to perform on of the randomly selected tasks faster on their current phone than the Microsoft expert using Windows Phone 7 gets £20; anyone who can’t gets £100 cash back if they upgrade to a Windows Phone 7 smartphone as a result.

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However, tests in the US were criticised for being heavily biased in favour of Windows Phone 7 and one Android smartphone owner was apparently fobbed off after trouncing Microsoft in one of them — although that situation was later amicably resolved.

The campaign kicks off on 21st April at the Westfield Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre in London, and goes on to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Sheffield, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol and Liverpool.

Full details at the Windows Phone 7 Facebook page.