Are Microsoft's Army of Developers a Secret Weapon for Windows Phone 7?
"Microsoft got a lot of attention yesterday for its Oprah-style announcement that every employee would get a Windows Phone 7 after the new mobile platform launches this fall. As it turns out, they're not just expensive toys. They're part of an effort to create some unexpected hits and seed the market using the energy from Microsoft's enormous pool of internal developers."
Ed Bott raises an interesting point with a bit of history - for years, the internally-developed but not-officially-supported Powertoys released by Microsoft employees were coded in their spare time. They offered fixes and workarounds to limitations in the platform. In the Palm-sized PC days (anyone remember those?) we saw a lot of Powertoys, and in the Pocket PC era we saw some more - but slowly we saw less and less of them...and I can't even recall the last one I saw for Windows Mobile. Maybe getting a free Windows Phone 7 phone will spark some of that passion to develop great apps and we'll see some amazing things from Microsoft's very talented developer pool.