Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

Summary: Will this new incentive keep Microsoft employees from jumping for another opportunity?

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I remember hearing stories of how people that worked for Microsoft had no time to work on anything outside of work. The company was not only known for owning all of the IP that an employee came up with, but it expected you to work day and night at your job, until your product was delivered.

Well, it seems that the Redmond giant is looking to change the "Microsoft owns you" perception. According to NYTimes.com, the company is now encouraging and incentivizing its employees to work on developing apps for its Windows Phone platform. The incentive comes in the form of allowing the employees to keep the intellectual property behind the game, and also approximately 70 percent of the revenues.

This is a definite change for Microsoft and one that I hope will be a sign of things to come. The company has been profiled lately for losing a lot of its top engineers. There's no doubt that these engineers were seeking to explore their own creativity, and now this gives them an outlet for it. As for Microsoft, it stands to benefit from a huge injection of apps into its app Marketplace.

My only concern with this new program is how the managers are really going to feel about their employees moonlighting. Microsoft's corporate stance seems solid, but reviews and performance evaluations are based on a number of factors, including your willingness to go "above and beyond". If you put out a great app, the manager might call into question how much time you put into your regular job, if you had enough time to engineer an app.

Google's known for giving an employee the opportunity to spend 20 percent of her time working on a project that she chooses. In the end the engineer doesn't get to keep the revenue from the project, so maybe Microsoft's version will fare better long term?

Topics: Microsoft, Banking, IT Employment, Telcos, Software, Operating Systems, Mobility, Legal, Hardware, Enterprise Software, CXO, Windows

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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57 comments
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  • I can see Balmer pissed about MS employees creating iPhone and Android

    applications. Hey, WP7 suuucks, what else is there to say???
    DonnieBoy
    • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

      @DonnieBoy
      How do you know it sucks when you don't own one or for that matter any Microsoft product (per your claims)?
      Ram U
    • Clearly youve never had a Windows Phone

      The whole experience is much better integrated than iphone or android and all the apps are 10x-100x better than their ios/android counterparts. once youve moved when you use your previous phone or your friends you are struck by what a huge step backwards they are.
      Johnny Vegas
      • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

        @Johnny Vegas
        I don't know who is more full of it, you or DonnieBoy?
        nucrash
      • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

        @nucrash

        Yep I would have said only 5x to 10x better, but I'll excuse the exaggeration and put it down to enthusiasm.
        tonymcs@...
    • Guys, guys, guys. Windows Phone SUUUUUCKs, nobody is buying it.

      People are buying iPhone and Android phones.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

        @DonnieBoy <br>It seems you know more than Apple, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and whole world. I am not sure, why in the hell Sprint announced WP7 (HTC Arrive) recently and Verizon is planning on Windows Phone 7 (HTC Mozart) and likely will announce on Monday (02/28/2011) when nobody is buying it, as per your statements though. I know people are buying it. And you represent the total world when it comes to mobile phones purchasing and people's interests in Mobile Platforms. Way to go DonnieBoy, you sure are one of a kind. <b>LOL</b>;-)
        Ram U
      • I believe your worst fears are after the 2 year Android agreement is up

        @DonnieBoy <br>Many will jump ship for WP7. Why does this upset you so? should you not be happy people are purchasing what suits them?<br><br>Or is it because not onlt is ChromeOS the laughing stock of the operating system world, but honeycomb, based on Android, is off to the smae start?<br><img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/plain.gif" alt="plain">
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

        @DonnieBoy
        From my own research (looking at public oppinion, asking sales reps and so forth, as part of a school project):
        The reason why WP7 isn't selling well is not because it isn't any good or it "SUUUUUCKs". It is a combination of
        - lack of customer awareness/knowledge of the product
        - less word of mouth (remember WP7 is a relatively new platform),
        - not enough different types of hardware (apparently many people buy the phone because of the way it looks, but this may be wrong)
        - a few features missing (Smaller App Store over competitors, Android is more customisable and appeals more to younger people)
        - People still thinking that it is like its predecessor, Windows Mobile

        Some of the sales reps were very positive about the device, and a lot didn't have enough time to familiarise themselves with it. Few (if any) mentioned the platform when asked about what different types they sell. That said, most of these issues should fix themselves in the near future.
        xnederlandx
      • Why do you enjoy getting your butt kicked so much?

        @DonnieBoy
        everytime you open your mouth you put your foot in it while getting your A$$ kicked at the same time.

        Is that what you do for fun?
        Will Farrell
    • I can see you are upset that nobody cares to purchase Android apps

      @DonnieBoy <br>Google was forced to hire 6000 people to write apps, while at the same time Google is upset that their apps sales are almost non-existent.<br><br>Is it because many are discovering that Android "sucks"?<br><img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/plain.gif" alt="plain">
      Tim Cook
    • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

      @DonnieBoy Are you using your 20% of free time at Google dissing Windows Phone 7? Very productive.
      dazzlingd
    • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

      @DonnieBoy

      Well, having completed our first educational game for WP7, I can only offer praise for the OS and the development system.

      Let's feel sympathetic to Donnie. He doesn't have a smartphone and if he did, it would be one based on a 1990s clone of Unix. Every new manufacturer that puts out a Windows Phone (and in the end that will be all except Apple) is a nail in Donnie's heart.

      He knows Windows is evil, yet WP7 is elegant and sophisticated and the only thing necessary for anyone (minus our resident trolls) to see WP7 is simply better, is to just use it.

      Cognitive dissonance is killing Donnie...
      tonymcs@...
    • Here's what else there is to say.

      @DonnieBoy Imagine that, you of all people being the first one to make an anti-MS post on an article about MS. I'm STILL not seeing your data that proves that Win32/64 is on a decline... so your evaluations of MS products are at best biased at worst complete and utter FUD.
      NonFanboy
    • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

      @DonnieBoy It depends on what your looking for in a phone. WP7 could be very appealing to the type of person that doesn't need a small PC. But as a dumb smartphone, I can see how people would like it. It might even displace Blackberry...that said, I think DB has a point. Balmer is probably pissed about MS employees creating iPhone and Android apps since the profitability of MS apps in my opinion is much less.
      Socratesfoot
  • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

    that tells me that nobody else is
    Black Barack
    • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

      @Black Barack
      What about Google then? Google also does the same. That means can I say nobody else is for Google, based on your opinion because Google also encourages 20% of their employees time for personal pet projects especially for Android and Chromium OS?
      Ram U
      • googles 20% is for projects of personal interest, not personal projects

        google still owns 100% of what you do on that 20% time. Unless they've changed that recently there's a very big difference there. Even so his conclusion is still absurd...
        Johnny Vegas
      • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

        @ Johnny Vegas
        I agree.
        Ram U
      • RE: Microsoft incentivizes employees to develop Windows Phone Apps after hours

        @Rama.NET
        You seem to spend a lot of time apologizing for Microsoft. Being that both Android and iOs far outsell anything Microsoft in the mobile space (phones, music players, tablets). Microsoft is forced to do anything to remain relevant in this space. With a whole 1.9% marketshare, Windows phone 7 series OS is not really that relevant. But since Microsoft gouges people on the price of its two cash cows, they have money to throw away on this hobby. Having internal people develop programs for Windows phone 7 series phones, they are indicating there is little interest from the third party app developers. This is not 15 years ago, when Microsoft told the web developers, they better code for IE as Microsoft could push out a new version and have it on 90% of the computers in the world. I do find it quite humorous that Microsoft is acting scared because they have little faith in their own product.
        Rick_K