Microsoft wants devs to code Phone apps in their spare time

Yesterday we reported that Microsoft was pimping out free Windows 7 phones to its employees. Today we learned that Redmond expects hard-working MS devs to code Phone apps in their spare time.

So forget about kicking back and enjoying that fragrant cup of Pike’s Place Roast as you watch the misty rain fall on Seattle’s slippery streets.

It’s time to code, baby, as if your very life and career depended on it!

Because – as Microsoft’s Andy Lees says – Windows Phone 7 is all about “making it personal” and that is exactly what Steve Ballmer is doing with his latest marching orders.  

“Pick up the phone, turn it on, download mail, get directions, make calls, find friends…In short USE IT,” Lees wrote in purported internal e-mail obtained by TechFlash

“We’ve [also] introduced a new employee developer program which makes it much easier for you to develop apps for Marketplace in your spare time. And if you need some help jumpstarting your development, check out the Windows Phone Developer Training Kit.”

Although such an approach seems just a tad extreme to us, M. Daou of Mobile Tech World noted that Microsoft was clearly determined to make its mark in the crowded mobile marketplace – by any means necessary.

“Google, Apple, Rim and all other mobile OS companies should start to pay attention to what’s going on in Redmond. Microsoft hates to loose and has proven in the past that it will do anything to conquer a certain market segment,” opined Daou. 

Engadget’sVlad Savov expressed similar sentiments.

“You had to know those freebie WP7 devices for Microsoft employees would come with a few strings attached. We imagined the Redmond brain trust was aiming for some word-of-mouth popularization along with a boost in team morale and proactivity, but as it turns out, things are a little more codified than that.

“The idea, clearly, is to harness Microsoft’s massive talent pool to try and get a headstart on populating the Marketplace with compelling content; we’re just not too sure the ‘spare time’ bit is going to go over quite as well as the ‘free smartphone’ part.”

Probably not very well, we imagine!