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Microsoft hands out 90,000 Windows Phones to employees and PDC attendees

Santa Ballmer? Steve Claus? Neither nickname has a great ring to it, but Microsoft’s CEO definitely deserves something similar this holiday season. Network World confirmed Thursday that Microsoft will be handing out free Windows Phone 7 devices to each and every company employee — that’s about 89,000 phones. Add to that another 1,000 free WP7 handsets that will be passed out to Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference attendees, and you’ve got quite an expense (likely over $20 million) that the Redmond giant is swallowing. You can’t put a price on publicity, however, and 90,000 free phones translates into a pretty huge amount of chatter. This is all well and good, but let’s hope the sizable stunt also ends up moving some product.

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Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.