Microsoft gives all its employees a new phone, tablet and PC… and I think that’s real smart

Geekwire reported on Friday that Microsoft announced at their annual employee conference that every full-time employee will receive a brand spankin’ new Windows 8 mobile device, Windows 8 computer and a new Surface Tablet – for work and private use.

With over 90,000 full-time employees, this is not an inexpensive exercise… with a generous estimate of $1000 (cost price) per head for a phone, a PC and the Surface tablet, it’s over 90 million bucks. So why would they do this? (And why do I think it’s probably one of the smartest ways to spend 90 million bucks?)

  • It shows they are committed to their product – that they believe in their product – and it will help the employees of Microsoft remain focussed and passionate about their mission. Microsoft are coming late to the party when it comes to the mobile and tablet space, and the Windows Phone ecosystem is at a critical stage where it needs to really take off, and quick – and the whole team at Microsoft will have to keep true to the mission to make it happen.
  • It’s a sign of confidence to the outside world. Microsoft is saying; “we can afford to have all our employees using these – they will be successful”.
  • It also shows commitment to their employees, and will be seen as a nice bonus gift by everyone.
  • It turns every single one of their employees into an immediate marketer and ambassador. Sure, they all are (or should be) anyway – but when they actually have the physical product in their hands to show their friends and family, it is quite something else. Every Microsoft employee will be an expert ambassador, and will spread the word and passion to the rest of the world. It’s seeding the market with 90,000 highly engaged customers.

A company’s best and most passionate ambassadors should be the employees themselves. Making sure they are up to date with the latest products is a smart way to make every employee a vigorous promoter.

Plus: $90 is small change relative to Microsoft’s 261 billion market cap.