Microsoft Will Boost Windows Phone 7 User Base By Giving Free Handsets To Employees

In terms of mobile operating systems, Microsoft has been struggling to compete against the likes of Apple and Google. Clearly, Apple's iPhone OS and Google's Android OS have taken the market by storm and left Microsoft in the dust. Although the software giant plans to launch Windows Phone 7 in an effort to compete, some wonder if it will be too little, too late. Time will tell, but Microsoft has a plan in place to ensure a large number of users.

Recently, Microsoft revealed its plans to get Windows Phone 7 in the hands of a rather large user base. How will it do this? By giving a free Windows Phone 7 device to each of its employees—all 90,000+ of them. Clearly this will be an expensive undertaking, but what better way to make evangelists out of your employees than to give them a free, bleeding-edge device?

Before giving out these phones, Microsoft will most definitely want to be sure the device isn't too bulky or buggy, because not even its own employees will tolerate such a device for long. However, recent reports have shown Windows Phone 7 to be quite usable, even cool in many regards.

In a recent email to employees, Microsoft's Andy Lees explained that more information will come closer to launch:

With all the buzz, a lot of you are asking how you can get your hands on a phone and get more involved. So, I am thrilled to announce that a new Windows Phone 7 will be made available to every Microsoft employee as we launch in each market around the world. The process will vary based on your market, your carrier, and your launch date so stay tuned for more information closer to launch.

Via:  Yahoo
AKwyn 4 years ago

I feel like this is a cheap attempt by Microsoft to make it look like Windows Phone 7 has a userbase by giving free phones to Microsoft employees. What they should do is improve the OS so that it can catch up to the big boys (iOS and Android OS).

marco c 4 years ago

In all fairness, the "big boys" still lack many of the features already built into WinMo 6.5. It's with regard to the UI that MSFT doesn't compete favorably.

Also, even if EVERY employee around the world took the company up on a free phone, that would amount to only 135K phones. I think Apple had more pre-orders on the iPhone 4 than that.

rapid1 4 years ago

That is what I was thinking when I saw the article title Marco. There total of employees worldwide is under 150,000. Any Android or IPhone model has 10 times that many users, and I just mean singular models. So the tainting of a user number that will be accomplished by this is minimal at best.

However; I could well see the point in this especially from a development point of view. If you give them a phone, but make them sign disclosure agreements. Then you have a captive audience on one network node basically. So you can monitor every malfunction and function in real time from real individuals.

Then develop on top of that knowledge can happen very fast. Take Windows 7 as an example, they released beta for free to chosen individuals, then RC to pretty much everyone who wanted it. The amount of free research as well as active criticism you get with a huge user pool is price less in this kind of situation.

So I see this as a very valid plan of action. Also as you stated the existing features in WinMo 6.5 are beyond, or in many cases examples of what a lot of the things on other companies units are based. I still cannot believe (I know it's true, but don't understand why) that there UI is lacking though. The UI is basically the reason M$ exists in the first place is it not. Many people give M$ a lot of crap for being who they are, but if they (or Bill Gates) had not successfully implemented it the way he did, would we be as far as we are within technology today?

I know acarzt and others are going to have answers to this, he stole it, he/they competes unfair and on and on. Mr Gates was almost a child when he came up with, adapted, built, stole or whatever group of actions he pursued to achieve it. The end is we would not be where we are if he had not. So for them to be lacking in UI which is there basis as a company basically even if you compare it to DOS vs. Basic etc is the reason they exist, so it is definitely questionable.

acarzt 4 years ago

Hey i'm Microsoft certified... do I get a free phone? lol

I think they are trying too hard to be "Cool" and "Hip" and "Trendy"

They are trying to make it user friendly, and flashy to get people attention... but in the process they are removing functionality.

And Rapid, they are still trying to steal ideas lol They just aren't implimenting them right.

I'm sure you saw those ppt slides that were floating around talking about how they can be more like Apple lol

I would have liked to see them adding functionality instead of trying to pretty it up and dumb it down.

AKwyn 4 years ago

Well where do you think the smartphone market is headed, most phones out right now have a pretty and flashy UI (including the iPhone and most Android phones).

I think Microsoft is stealing ideas from Apple, it's obvious that the lack of copy & paste was acceptable back in 2008-2009 but it's not in 2010. While I do like the UI Microsoft has, I think they need to add back some functionality essential in today's smartphone world.

Rapid1, while I do agree with some of what you said, I don't feel like the UI is going to hook them if they don't have enough features or ir doesn't do what it want to do for them. I mean they could rather chose the iPhone or the Android Phone over the Windows phone because it got much more openness (in the way you can design apps). I mean what would you do, have an app you can't even send to the background in Windows Phone 7 or have an app that you can send to the background. I think the choice is obvious here.

Super Dave 4 years ago

[quote user="News"]How will it do this? By giving a free Windows Phone 7 device to each of its employees—all 90,000+ of them.[/quote]

It's a great perk for the employees, and an excellent way to get feedback by it's new users!

ClemSnide 4 years ago


>I think Microsoft is stealing ideas from Apple

Wow! That's the first time that's ever happened!

...I haven't taken a look at any phones offering the OS, so I have no idea whether it's a cool, hip, and gosh-darn-it just plain fun product (as Jennifer implies), or a complete disaster (as Joel Hruska reported InfoWorld as saying). But I will say that cool and hip aren't my first concerns in a mobile device: usability is. That's why I stick with my cheapjack Samsung SGH-X495. Sure, I need a magnifying glass to read its menus; but since Google, Palm, and Apple let low-vision users down with their one-text-size-fits-all UIs, I may as well save some dough.

You guys know I'm not a corporate partisan; but if this OS works out, I'll jump on the Microsoft worship bandwagon along with the rest of you. Shoot, it may even make me forget Vista.

It does sound like a pretty chintzy holiday bonus, though. I'd rather have the traditional check.

AKwyn 4 years ago

[quote user="ClemSnide"]


>I think Microsoft is stealing ideas from Apple

Wow! That's the first time that's ever happened!


Not feature ideas, business ideas. Microsoft is trying to be more like Apple when making their Phone, therefore all of the Apple-like stuff Microsoft is forcing partners to do.

acarzt 4 years ago

Microsoft has been stealing from Apple since day one lol

Haven't you seen that movie about it?

acarzt 4 years ago

Tons of hands on info and pics.

It doesn't sound HORRIBLE. It might actually be decent.

Gonna need some hands on of my own tho.

It is SIGNIFICANTLY different than the old Win Mobile.

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