Microsoft will give out free internal email published by TechFlash.handsets to all of its employees to encourage them to build apps for the new operating system in their "spare time", according to an
The jumbo mobile giveaway was spotted in a Microsoft employee's tweet by Mary Jo Foley from our US sister site, ZDNet. That means about 95,000 WinPhev phones will end up in MS goody bags this year.
But according to the email from Microsoft top dog Andy Lees, there are some strings attached.
"Understand the unique value of Windows Phone 7 and evangelise to your customers, partners, friends and family!" writes Lees, in a imperative worthy of a little red book.
"Develop! A new employee developer programme which makes it much easier for you to develop apps for Marketplace in your spare time," continues the email.
The question remains as to whether MS employees will be able to reap financial rewards for the apps they develop in their own time on their free phones.
In other WinPhev news, a closer partnership between ARM and Microsoft could give a glimpse into what we can expect from Windows Phone 7 phone hardware.
Microsoft joins only three other companies to have licenced the ARM architecture -- Qualcomm, Marvell and Infineon -- all of which make chips. We don't know whether MS plans to get its hands dirty with hardware, or whether it will use the in-depth knowledge of the ARM architecture to streamline its software.
ARM-based chips are used in the iPhone and .,
Dell, Asus, Samsung, LG and HTC are all lined up to make phones with the new operating system when it comes out sometime near the end of the year.
For more on Windows Phone 7, check out ourand our .