Microsoft has relaxed strict employment rules to encourage its staff to develop Windows Phone 7 applications.
Microsoft employees can now officially “moonlight” in their spare time by creating Windows Phone 7 apps. Employees are now able to create apps and profit from their intellectual property. Microsoft’s Brandon Watson, Director of Developer Experience for Windows Phone, revealed the change in an interview with the New York Times last week. “We tend to have strict moonlighting rules,” he said of the company. “But we’ve changed those rules so developers can do this in their spare time, and have the financial benefit and outcome of the work.”
Microsoft says the incentive is a popular change at the company. Over 3,000 employees have registered to submit applications according to Watson and 840 have been published in the Marketplace so far. The company holds weekly pizza parties for workers who create apps for the Windows Phone platform. Watson says that the company is looking at ways to publicize employees work, including posters and recognition awards
Microsoft’s first platform update, due to be distributed in early March, will include the highly anticipated copy and paste feature for consumers and developers. Windows Phone 7 copy and paste has been demonstrated recently in full thanks to an unlocked emulator. Microsoft’s first update will also improve application start-up and resume times. “NoDo”, the codename for Microsoft’s first Windows Phone 7 update, has been ready for some time. The software giant RTM’d the update in December and has been busy preparing the Zune client software and Marketplace to handle the updated software.
The revelation comes at a time that could be crucial for employees to monetize their skills and talents early. Microsoft revealed in January that it has now shipped 2 million devices to carriers. The company has also recently partnered with Nokia, allowing the Finnish firm to create a range of Windows Phone 7 devices. Couple this with the fact that Windows Phone 7 is showing early developer momentum and you’re onto a winner as a developer. Research firm, IDC, said in December that the Windows Phone platform is off to a good start and that the level of applications in the Marketplace is impressive. Developers can get in early whilst there’s still less than 10,000 applications available, and experience good traction and awareness in future.