Having worked with and been interested in technology for a while, I have always been a big fan of companies “eating their own dog food” . For those of you unfamiliar with this expression it basically refers to a company using the products that it creates. Ironically, the expression was coined within Microsoft in the late eighties.
So when I came across this article at Neowin I was quietly impressed that Microsoft is extending such an approach to its new mobile operating system. Sure, there will be some employees that will may prefer an iPhone, Blackberry or Android device but I think this is a sign of how confident Microsoft is in this product.
If anyone has used a legacy Windows Mobile device they would understand that they were hardly a joy to use but were the best that the tech industry had for a long time. Due to a real lack of competition, Microsoft lacked the incentive and reason to make real innovation in the mobile space. It was only until the rise of Blackberry and iPhone that Microsoft decided to get serious and reboot Windows Mobile and start from scratch.
Personally, I believe word of mouth is a powerful thing. Getting employees on board with partially or fully subsidised products can be costly from a financial perspective but can provide an invaluable means by which to gather product feedback and also internally trial updates and services. Whilst social networking is great for getting in touch with customers, employees may present a more palatable option.
Sometimes looking inward can be better than looking outward.