Microsoft employees to get free Windows Phone 7 devices

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Microsoft has decided to give each of its 90,000-plus employees a free smart phone running the Windows Phone 7 operating system, the company announced this week.

The news was first made public via Twitter by a Microsoft employee attending the company’s Global Exchange conference.


Microsoft didn’t say which phones it would give to its employees, but they should be getting devices before the release of the company’s mobile software in the fall.

Microsoft’s decision to give Windows Phone 7 devices to its employees is more than just an act of kindness. By seeding the phones to its employees, the company can perform internal beta testing before the devices hit shelves. Even better, it gives developers a group of users to test out their applications.

Offering employees free smart phones isn’t anything new. When Apple announced the iPhone in 2007, it gave one to each of its employees. It seems Microsoft is simply following suit.

Windows Phone 7 devices are scheduled to hit shelves this fall. The devices will be the first to feature Microsoft’s mobile software that competes directly with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS.

--Don Reisinger