10% of apps in Marketplace written by Microsoft employees

Browser Plus is written my Microsoft employees.

A while ago it was widely reported that Microsoft would be giving all their 90,000 employees Windows Phone 7 handsets and encouraging them to develop for Windows Phone 7 by allowing them to retain their IP.

It seems the strategy is working, as 3000 Microsoft developers have registered for Marketplace, and 840 of the around 8000 apps published in Marketplace have been from this group.

One of the more popular and well-known of these applications is Browser Plus a multi-tabbed alternate browser shell, written by married couple Sriram Krishnan, a program manager working on the company’s cloud computing platform, and Aarthi Ramamurthy, a program manager on the Xbox team.

“A check shows up, and I cash it. Microsoft is O.K. with that,” he said. “They have been hugely supportive.”

Josh Lerner, a professor of investment banking at Harvard Business School said: “Microsoft is not just rewarding people for what they do in their spare time”, but is also “harnessing that energy to the company’s ends” to catch up in the mobile market.

“It’s symptomatic of a larger transformation,” he said, as companies unlock more entrepreneurial activity, granting incentives and rewards to researchers in the hope they will stay put instead of moving to other companies.

Via NYTimes.com

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