updated 06:45 pm EDT, Fri October 15, 2010
Microsoft gives WP7 phones to ATT workers
Microsoft may be turning to giving AT&T workers free Windows Phone 7 devices to spur acceptance. One employee said that the company gave out about 100 devices to those attending an event in Minneapolis. He didn't know if it was a US-wide policy, but he suggested that it was an attempt by Microsoft to guarantee that staff were experienced ahead of the November 8 debut.
"Looks like Microsoft really wants the employees to all have WP7 in their hands," employee Mando said.
Which phones and the designated workers weren't mentioned, although the Samsung Focus (pictured) is officially the first to ship. AT&T has been asked for comment but hadn't had an opportunity to respond as of the initial news post.
The strategy is relatively rare in the industry and may be following the approach taken by Apple. When the iPhone first launched in June 2007, Apple gave free 8GB iPhones to all of its full-time workers, whether professional or retail, both as a reward for their work and to familiarize them with the platform along with customers. Microsoft has been quick to treat WP7 as a complete restart of its platform and is known to be eager to prove that the OS can compete against its intended Android and iPhone rivals.