Mobile
Commentary
7/22/2010
12:09 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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Free Windows Phone 7 Devices For Everyone

Everyone at Microsoft that is. It looks like all 90,000 employees of Microsoft will be getting a new phone with Windows Phone 7 on it. If nothing else, it makes it instantly more successful than the Kin, perhaps ten times as successful.

Everyone at Microsoft that is. It looks like all 90,000 employees of Microsoft will be getting a new phone with Windows Phone 7 on it. If nothing else, it makes it instantly more successful than the Kin, perhaps ten times as successful.Mary Jo Foley retweeted the news from a Microsoft employee. As Ms. Foley puts it, only thirty million devices to go.

By seeding the employees with the devices, Microsoft should generate some buzz and recommendations by word of mouth, though it will be heavily concentrated in the Seattle area. The question is, will those with iPhone or Android willingly give up their current phone for the new one or will devices find their way onto eBay?

The Windows Phone team will really be on the hot seat once all of their coworkers have one, which may be the point. I think that if they are surrounded by users of their device, comments, both good and bad, will help correct things that are wrong faster than they otherwise would.

A few years ago Microsoft tried to get employees to give up their iPods in favor of the Zune. Results there were less than stellar. The key difference with the new program though is the phones are free. Microsoft wasn't passing out free Zunes, though in hindsight, I bet they wish they had to spur interest in the platform.

Do you think this will make a material difference in marketing the device, or could the money, probably round $9 million dollars or more, be better spent promoting the platform?

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