MS Encourages Employees to Develop Smartphone Apps

Dennis Faas's picture

In an effort to capitalize on the rising popularity of smartphone apps, Microsoft is now allowing their employees to moonlight as self-directed entrepreneurs to help improve the image of the company in the mobile market.

To make smartphones that house their Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system more marketable in an industry dominated by iPhone and Android-based devices, Microsoft is planning to offer their prospective customers more apps than any other smartphone on the market.

App Rules Relaxed in Light of Development

While an admirable endeavor, putting the plan into practice still requires a substantial amount of manpower to engineer each individual app.

To speed up the process, Microsoft has relaxed strict rules and will now let their employees work on creating new apps for the company in their spare time, while retaining the right to their intellectual property.

Windows Phone 7 Apps a Win-Win for Microsoft

Microsoft has everything to gain from this move.

Previously, a substantial amount of company time and resources would have been wasted in the development of apps that may or may not have been approved for commercialization. Having employees work in their spare time ensures that no more time is wasted, while Microsoft is still able to make a final decision on whether or not to approve a finished product.

According to Brandon Watson, director of developer experience for Windows Phone 7, profits from ensuing app sales would result in a division of 70 per cent to the developers and 30 per cent to Microsoft. (Source:

Microsoft is also hoping to have weekly pizza parties for those who decide to write codes for the platform, in addition to finding new ways to publicize their hard work, including posters and awards of recognition.

No Compensation for Unpublished Apps

Of course, there is one downside to app development: if the app does not make it to commercialization, there is no money in it for those who created the app in their leisure time. In other words, Microsoft reserves the right to deny any app, with no restitution paid to the developer. (Source:

Microsoft revealed that more than 3,000 employees have already registered to create and submit applications, with about 840 apps making it to publication thus far.

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