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Microsoft employees to get free Windows Phones

Microsoft apparently wants to see fewer iPhones on its campuses and get higher visibility for its own mobile platform.

Honestly, they're pretty sweet. CNET

Microsoft really is getting aggressive with the Windows Phone 7 platform, it seems. At a sales event in Atlanta earlier Wednesday, Microsoft announced to its employees that all of them--which number almost 90,000 globally--will be getting Windows Phone 7 devices, according to a Tech Flash report. It's a good move on Microsoft's part, as it clearly wants its employees using its own products, especially sales and PR people who have to deal with non-Microsoft people.

I live in Seattle, and there are thousands of Microsoft employees I can--and do--come across on any given day. Many of them currently use Windows Phone devices but not a majority, at least not from what I can tell. In fact, Apple's iPhone, clearly the main target of the new mobile phone OS, is probably the most popular handset among employees at Redmond.

That has to be embarrassing and likely the main catalyst for the move. It echoes something Apple did back in 2007 when the iPhone was first announced; Apple called an all-hands company meeting, where Steve Jobs announced that all full-time employees who'd worked at Apple for more than a year would be getting free iPhones.

No details on when or exactly which models will be available, or which carriers employees can choose from, but two Microsoft employees I've talked to welcomed the news. One, an avid iPhone user, is excited about what she's seen of Windows Phone 7, which I agree is a huge step forward. The other, who's never had a smartphone, just wants something on which he can play games. They should both be grateful they're getting full-featured, real WinPho 7 devices; we hear there are still a few thousand Kins laying around.