Microsoft’s 89,000 Employees Getting Windows Phone 7 Devices
There are good points and bad points about being a Microsoft employee. The company’s Windows Phone exec Guy Gilbert has recently revealed that every Microsoft employee will be receiving a Windows Phone 7 device. He didn’t really mention which of the huge number of newly released devices were offered, but each and every one of the 89,000 core workers will have a phone. While rumor also has it that the company will also cover cellular plans, Gilbert didn’t confirm this.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard of such an approach. Apple did nearly the same thing when it decided to give free iPhones to full time staff, as a reward for work and as a way to get people accustomed to what will be one of the most important platforms and products of the company.
The same goes for Microsoft, since it has only recently introduced its new operating system for mobile phones, Windows Phone 7 to consumers. It also makes one think that by providing all employees with the company’s own products, they won’t show up at work with products from competing companies. I’m not sure if this is what Microsoft and Apple were really thinking, but it makes a bit of sense, especially after Melinda Gates’ interview where she stated plainly that no Apple product will ever find its way to the Gates household.
As Electronista points out, the less than fabulous response to the Windows Mobile platform is creating a problem for Microsoft where even some of the higher-positioned employees either have never used it or own a second device from a rivaling platform. For example, Larry Hryb, a part of the Xbox Live team is known to use an iPhone as one of his phones
In September the company’s CEO, Steve Ballmer also started to lightly tease an iPhone owner during a company meeting. The employee was a part of the Windows team and was spotted using the Apple device to snap a photo. Apparently Ballmer started joking about the iPhone, put it on the ground and pretended to stomp on it before moving on. Microsoft has showed on multiple occasions that it encourages employees to avoid Apple products, if possible, even though it doesn’t force them to give up the devices.
Now that Microsoft’s staff has received brand new and shiny Windows Phone 7 devices, we’re interested in finding out more about the phones they’ve replaced. Gilbert didn’t offer the demographics of phone usage at the company, but he did mention that most staff members were quite happy about receiving the new handsets. All we can say is, it’s very nice of Microsoft to familiarize its team of people with the new mobile platform in a proper way. We don’t know whether Windows Phone 7 will prove to be a success yet, but it would be interesting to have three, four or even more powerful mobile platforms competing for consumers worldwide.11