Microsoft encurage its employees to develop Windows Phone apps during spare time
3 March 2011 by Olav Hellesø-Knutsen
Microsoft is doing a Google and will now let employees work on Windows Phone 7 apps during leisure time
Microsoft reached 5000 apps available in the Windows Phone Marketplace in the end of December. More than 9000 apps are available today, a little over two months later. It is increasing, but not quick enough obviously. To further speed up the number of new quality apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace Microsoft are now doing something similar to what Google has done for its employees for years. Google offer their engineers 20-percent time to work on things they are really passionated about. Google employees use 20% of their time to work on things they like during regular work hours while getting the monthly paycheck. Google Suggest, AdSense and Orkut are results of this offering.
Microsoft isn't going the exact same route, but the employees are given free hands to create Windows Phone 7 apps during their spare time. The apps and intellectual property is owned by the developer while the revenue are share between Microsoft and the developer on the usual 70-30 percentage model.
Having created a nice app does not guarantee financial success so if the app does not sell well, the developer will not earn much either.
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Wait, so basically MS is asking its employees to work for free on their own personal time for products tha MS will share the profit in???? How is that even remotely close to what Google is offering it's employees?
And what's with the 'will let them work in thei spare time'? Is that a bonus? To get to work for free on the weekends?
Microsoft isn't asking their employees to make apps. They are just allowing them to do so for the first time. They are giving away free phones, have free pizza parties and give away awards of recognition for those developers coding for Windows Phone platform. And they are allowed to keep the intelectual property themself. And the revenue. I would guess that normally, any invention related to Windows or Microsoft done while working for Microsoft belongs to Microsoft. Google wanted their employees to do fun stuff besides the regular coding, and so are Microsoft from now on.
Yes, it is a bonus. Normally, you want your employees to pour their passions into their jobs. If they do something else on the side, you donít cheer them on. This is a policy Microsoft has changed. Read the NYT source for the full interview with Microsoft
It's good that the employees are being paid to develop other work related interests. If only more companies were like that.
Ok, that's a bit clearer... but they aren't getting paid to develop apps right? Just permission to do so openly? It really is a far cry from Google's incentive program though. Specially since MS isn't exactly ahead of the pack. I would've expected them to allow programmers to develop apps on company time... much like Google, but I guess that's the corp environment of MS.