Free phones for 89,000 Microsofties

Nov 1, 2010, 7:56 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has reason to yell, “I am pumped up.” This week the company’s controller-free gaming system launches; next week Windows Phone 7 hits the market. While it has been easy to dismiss the company due to some of its quick, huge failures – the Kin phone for example – Microsoft’s newest products have people buzzing again.

BallmerAt the Professional Developers Conference last week, Ballmer said he was “pumped up” because of both Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7.

Although Microsoft is getting into the mobile market through its phone software, he didn’t want developers to forget about computers.

“The PC is the number one smart device on the planet today,” Ballmer says, “and there’s a lot of innovation going on.” He says 88 percent of businesses are moving to Windows 7, and 409 million PCs will ship with it in 2011.

He must be pumped about Windows Phone 7 too. He gave each of the 1,000 developers in the audience a phone. A leaked internal memo indicates each of the company’s 89,000+ employees will also be getting Windows Phone 7 – free.

Consumer reports was quick to criticize Microsoft for the way it marketed their failed Kin phone, calling the first ads creepy, and the second set risky. But I think the commercials for Windows Phone 7 are cool. Yes, really.

Lines for another other likely-to-be-huge product from Microsoft begin forming mid-week. Gamers will be able to get their hands on the hands-free Kinect for Xbox beginning just after midnight Wednesday.

I had a chance to play with the gaming system last week on campus. I’ll review the Kinect Thursday morning on 97.3 KIRO FM Thursday morning and here.

(Ballmer, AP photo)

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Free phones for 89,000 Microsofties