Microsoft to give Windows Phone 7 phones to every employee

At the MGX (Microsoft Global Exchange) conference today, Microsoft announced that it would be distributing Windows Phone 7 devices to every employee in the company.

Microsoft currently has around 90,000+ employees, and thats a lot of devices -- but may be worth the companies while -- as word of mouth marketing is the best the company can get at this point in the phones development.

Twitter has exploded with employees tweeting about MGX, with employees saying:

@simchabe: Woot. Every single microsoft employee will get a windows phone 7 #mgx #yam #smminds

@mitchellholder: Every #Microsoft employee will get a Windows Phone 7 ...phone. Announced today at #MGX. I'm not even there but I can feel the excitement.

@ChicagoLori: All Microsoft employees get a free Windows Phone at launch!!!! #MGX

Clearly the move is greatly welcomed by Microsoft employees who are as enthusiastic as we are about getting our hands on the devices later this year. Windows Phone 7 hit the "technical preview" stage earlier this week, meaning the software is nearing release. Many blogs and tech websites recieved Windows Phone 7 devices to review this week as well.

Update: Gizmodo has received an internal email from Andy Lees, Senior VP of Mobile:

"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."

Thanks to Big Boy for tipping us off on the forums.

Image Credit: Long Zheng (Flickr)

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I suppose it's the ultimate test. If they can't convince their own employees to use it (when it's free), then what hope is there for the real market

I have asked this a couple other places but if FTE's will receive them on launch day, how are they gonna pull this off here at the Fargo, ND campus (Dynamics, GP, etc.)? AT&T doesn't offer service here. Also, will they get a choice of phone (i.e. physical keyboard, etc.)? The reason I ask is that of the possible WP7 phone that have popped up, there only seem to be two CDMA phones (Apollo and Mondrian); which would allow for Verizon, and they don't appear to have physical keyboards

The leaked mail said that the specifics would vary based on the region and Microsoft's preferred carrier, and devices available at the time they get released to people. I would guess that whatever Microsoft's carrier is for people in ND, you'll get phones on that carrier, and you'll probably not have much of a choice, if any, especially if the hardware pickings are slim already on the carrier in your region.

Well this is kinda saying to Apple that Microsoft cares for there employees and that they want them to say for a while. I must say, Windows 7 Phone does look good. Cheers to the one who wins. Apple or Microsoft.

The e-mail states a "that a new Windows Phone 7 will be made available to every Microsoft employee". Doesn`t this mean they can just have one in each office which is available for use by any employee or am i just being a pedantic neowinian

Being serious, nice move Microsoft, giving something back to your employees (apart from salary) is a great motivator

The Teej said,
Ah, so that explains why they laid off a lot of people recently, less phones to give out

Lmao true :DDD

This is somewhat off topic, but Microsoft is one of the most kind companies out there, and they always try to make things good for everyone, yet everyone always ****s on them.

Apple puts out phones that need band aids to get better reception... BAND AIDS FOR ****S SAKE. And people still buy their products, even though they already have, for instance, an iPhone 3G... But it's too old (1 year and a half, wow,) and they don't really support it... Heck, they don't even LIST IT on their site anymore.

Foolish people.

HeLGeN-X said,
This is somewhat off topic, but Microsoft is one of the most kind companies out there, and they always try to make things good for everyone, yet everyone always ****s on them.

Apple puts out phones that need band aids to get better reception... BAND AIDS FOR ****S SAKE. And people still buy their products, even though they already have, for instance, an iPhone 3G... But it's too old (1 year and a half, wow,) and they don't really support it... Heck, they don't even LIST IT on their site anymore.

Foolish people.


Oh no you are quite foolish.. Did you know the samsung captivate has the same problem? There have been many phones in the past with this problem and apple is not allowed to make the mistake but other companies are? Also apple does support the iph 3G and I know cos I own one, it just doesn't support multitasking and for good reason, Microsoft isn't doing this to be kind they want people to test their os.....

danisflying527 said,

Microsoft isn't doing this to be kind they want people to test their os.....

Firstly, regardless of who, what and how. Apple did a pathetic job of supporting that saga and handling user perception.

Secondly, who said Microsoft is giving these to employees well before general availability?

did they ever decide if WP7 would support any kind of multitasking? also hoping that it doesn't turn out that ever app looks like or just replaces web page functionality...

nullie said,
did they ever decide if WP7 would support any kind of multitasking? also hoping that it doesn't turn out that ever app looks like or just replaces web page functionality...

It doesn't have full 3rd party multitasking (the built in apps/hubs will multitask and 3rd party apps can use push notifications and such), but since carriers appear to be moving toward tiered data plans it may not be much of a loss.

If it's anything like the Windows 7 or Office 2010 giveaways, they're personal use phones. Microsoft only picks up the tab if the device is used for business use, I believe (although I would guess most employees using a phone for business use there would ditch whatever their current work phone was for one of these).

:: Lyon :: said,
I wonder what happens to those who already have an iPhone 4.. "ditch it or you're fired?"
Considering iPhones are already everywhere at MS, I doubt it. Microsoft won't pay for your data or phone bills if you use an iPhone for business use though, I believe - it has to be a WiMo phone (which makes sense). People who use an iPhone for business use and pay the plan price themselves probably would consider a WP7 device for work once they're out there. Let's face it, WiMo 6.x was OK, but it did leave a lot to be desired as it got long in the tooth.

chaos_disorder said,
Do they just get the phones, or will Microsoft activate them and pay the monthly bills as well?
I'd say they'll just give the employees the handset and it's upto them to then sign up for a contract, I doubt they'd just throw them all on the company phone plan! (I could be wrong though).

Xerxes said,
I'd say they'll just give the employees the handset and it's upto them to then sign up for a contract, I doubt they'd just throw them all on the company phone plan! (I could be wrong though).

Why not? Companies do it all the time for their employees. Corporate phone service happens a lot.

chaos_disorder said,
Do they just get the phones, or will Microsoft activate them and pay the monthly bills as well?

As of currently, Microsoft is paying data plan for those who uses Windows Mobile phone only. I assume this will apply to Windows Phone 7 in the future.

chaos_disorder said,
Do they just get the phones, or will Microsoft activate them and pay the monthly bills as well?
Microsoft only pays the bills if the device is a WiMo phone, and is used for business usage, I believe.

cluberti said,
Microsoft only pays the bills if the device is a WiMo phone, and is used for business usage, I believe.

Source?! This will be country, level and various other factor specific. Just like with any other company!

woi said,

Source?! This will be country, level and various other factor specific. Just like with any other company!

Source ? Microsoft. They don't pay bills of iPones, Android.... only WinMo.

ilev said,

Source ? Microsoft. They don't pay bills of iPones, Android.... only WinMo.

So if you are an employee, you can't put your sim in another mobile?

woi said,

So if you are an employee, you can't put your sim in another mobile?

This probably is different outside the US, but I believe the way it works is that for any cell phone plan that they are reimbursing for, they will cover the costs of the plan and usage up to a certain dollar amount per month, and the phone must meet specific requirements to work with Exchange and SCCM, etc. That makes it harder to use a non-Windows-based phone on corpnet, although not impossible.

Dammit! knew i should have tried harder for my work placement at Microsoft
Go microsoft, wonder if the employees will recieve pre release as a test stage, all that usage and feedback would be rather valuable to a company.

Omen1393 said,
That means there's 100,000 WP7 users at launch.

Nice.


100,000 devices. They won't necessarily all be used

Hope they don't pull the plug on WP7 after a month like they did with KIN. Seriously though, MS not backing their own product for longer than a month makes them look like they don't know wtf they are doing.

Shadrack said,
Hope they don't pull the plug on WP7 after a month like they did with KIN. Seriously though, MS not backing their own product for longer than a month makes them look like they don't know wtf they are doing.
KIN is basically being replaced by WM7, and of course WM7 is going to get continued support.

Shadrack said,
Hope they don't pull the plug on WP7 after a month like they did with KIN. Seriously though, MS not backing their own product for longer than a month makes them look like they don't know wtf they are doing.
KIN and WP7 are totally different though, KIN was nothing more then a failed experiment and WP7 is a fully fledged mobile OS to go head to head with iOS and Android.

dave164 said,
Pitty I leave in September . Maybe it's only for full time employees and not contractors / vendors or interns.
It's FTE only.

thealexweb said,
A gimic to try and gain market share quickly.

Did you think the same thing when Google handed out free HTC Dreams to their employees?

thealexweb said,
A gimic to try and gain market share quickly.
Sure, 90,000 employees is going to give them a significant marketshare >_>

thealexweb said,
A gimic to try and gain market share quickly.

Seriously? You think they're trying to gain market share by giving 90,000 employees the phones? Do you have any idea how BIG the market is and how 90,000 is a drop in the water?

Oh wait, you're anti-WP7 to the core and won't hear anything otherwise.

thealexweb said,
A gimic to try and gain market share quickly.

Not even close. This is a clever (and well known) way with which to test your product internally, over a wide user base, a technically inclined user base at that, and also using people you can *mostly* trust because they're on your payroll.

But you know this anyway

kInG aLeXo said,
Wondering how many of those will NOT end-up being sold on eBay

How about every employee that is proud to be using his/her own company's product.

day2die said,

How about every employee that is proud to be using his/her own company's product.

It seems they don't have many proud employees as many of them, more than 10,000 , use iPhones.

ilev said,

It seems they don't have many proud employees as many of them, more than 10,000 , use iPhones.

Unless you work for MSFT and have access to that info, can you confirm the source of this and then reclarify once Window Phone 7 is released?!

day2die said,

How about every employee that is proud to be using his/her own company's product.

Not many then lol. I wonder how many of them were proud of the Kin?

martinDTanderson said,
Day 1 and already more users than KIN

Day 2 and everyone notices how it sucks, sells it on Ebay or simply throws it in the recycle bin.

Lechio said,

Day 2 and everyone notices how it sucks, sells it on Ebay or simply throws it in the recycle bin.

Don't you have anything better to do than trolling?

Lechio said,

Day 2 and everyone notices how it sucks, sells it on Ebay or simply throws it in the recycle bin.

Awww, look at the troll crying for attention.

Lechio said,
Can't you people take a joke with a little truth in it? Chill.

Right, because when everyone calls you out on trolling, suddenly people aren't able to take a joke, right?

LiquidSolstice said,

Right, because when everyone calls you out on trolling, suddenly people aren't able to take a joke, right?


Have you seen the reviews on the Windows 7 Phone (the ones that are not sponsored by Microsoft)? All of them are with the opinion that it plain and simply, sucks. Missing key features, ugly interface... It's probably trolling too, right?

Lechio said,

Have you seen the reviews on the Windows 7 Phone (the ones that are not sponsored by Microsoft)? All of them are with the opinion that it plain and simply, sucks. Missing key features, ugly interface... It's probably trolling too, right?

You mean on sites like Gizmodo and Engadget? Funny, because they actually seem to like it quite a bit.

But I suppose you like sites like Infoworld where they said the phone was worse then a "lump of coal." I mean that is gold standard reviewing right there.... right?

Lechio said,

Have you seen the reviews on the Windows 7 Phone (the ones that are not sponsored by Microsoft)? All of them are with the opinion that it plain and simply, sucks. Missing key features, ugly interface... It's probably trolling too, right?

+1
The consensus is that it's a failure waiting to happen. It wont have multitasking for third party apps, copy&paste, the interface looks like something from the early 90's, and has a number of usability issues. And given these failings it's no wonder MS are giving all their employees phones, because at least they can brag they have a minimum number of users. Although how many of those employees who are willing to give up their androids/iphones is questionable.

Ignore the comment sections from most of the review sites, as they are full of MS astroturfers. They give negative ratings en masse to any comments that dare to criticise it, Quite pathetic actually. If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen.

autobon said,

You mean on sites like Gizmodo and Engadget? Funny, because they actually seem to like it quite a bit.

Didn't they also give glowing reviews of the Kin? Me thinks anything MS excretes would be liked on those sites, But even they couldn't ignore the glaringly missing features - multitasking and c/p which are present in all current smartphones.

autobon said,

But I suppose you like sites like Infoworld where they said the phone was worse then a "lump of coal." I mean that is gold standard reviewing right there.... right?

It wasn't just Infoworld that dared to defy the will of MS and give a critical review, others did so too. I guess people just aren't afraid of the behemoth any more.

TechDudeGeorge said,
What's this, free iPhone 4's for everyone at Apple too... yeah right . Go MS!

Apple did that with the first iPhone, not everyone but many employees got the iPhone before and after the launch. It's not only about spreading the word but about getting fast feedback on its functionality

techbeck said,
Well, hopefully it is a good launch or else people will end up selling them online.

I'm relatively sure the Windows Mobile community will accept it with open arms.

Owen Williams said,

I'm relatively sure the Windows Mobile community will accept it with open arms.

Depends really. I for one want a product to work well and dont care if I am a windows/android fan. If it doesnt work as advertised, I will go someplace else.

techbeck said,

Depends really. I for one want a product to work well and dont care if I am a windows/android fan. If it doesnt work as advertised, I will go someplace else.

As I'm sure most people would

techbeck said,

Depends really. I for one want a product to work well and dont care if I am a windows/android fan. If it doesnt work as advertised, I will go someplace else.


True. Who says it's not going to work well anywho?

Owen Williams said,

True. Who says it's not going to work well anywho?

There has already been articles with peoples opinions, as I have given mine. Why I said it better have a good launch or else they will end up selling them online

techbeck said,
Well, hopefully it is a good launch or else people will end up selling them online.
I bet this would require the employees to sign a new cell phone contract.