Microsoft is in a giving mood. Just last month they gave out hundreds of Xbox 360s to E3 attendees — even sent one to the TechCrunch office for no particular reason. Now they’re going to be giving away Windows Phone 7 handsets to every Microsoft employee, if we are to believe what we read on Twitter.
We recently got our hands on a WP7 unit and put up our in-depth impressions of Microsoft’s new mobile OS, and our verdict is cautious optimism. But even if it were the hottest thing we’d ever seen, Microsoft would still be in a pickle when it comes to getting these things out there. Giving away something like 90,000 phones ought to help with that.
I know for a fact now that I’m going to be seeing these around Seattle — there isn’t room to swing a cat in this city without giving a Microsoft employee a mouthful of hair. This little act of generosity (probably costing MS somewhere around $2-4 million, depending on costs) also serves as a sort of beta program, I’m sure — if they plan on rolling this thing out in one piece, testing at scale is extremely important.
Actually, it’s unclear when these handsets will make it into the hands of Microsoft’s myriad workers (nine myriad, to be precise), but the whispered October launch date getting closer every day, so I’d guess soon. Feel free to comment or hit the tip line if you’re at MS and know more.