Sunday, March 14, 2010

Betrayal at Microsoft

Nearly 10,000 iPhone users were accessing the Microsoft employee email system last year, say two people who heard the estimates from senior Microsoft executives. That figure equals about 10% of the company's global work force. ...

For many top Microsoft executives, seeing so many iPhones around the office is a bit like how a Coca-Cola Co. manager might feel seeing underlings drink Pepsi—especially since Microsoft makes its own operating system, Windows Phone, that powers handsets. ...

At a retreat last March for dozens of senior Microsoft executives at its corporate campus, someone asked about employee use of iPhones in a question-and-answer period.

According to several people present, Andy Lees, a Microsoft senior vice president who oversees development of the mobile-phone software business, and his boss, Robbie Bach, explained that Microsoft workers often use rival products to better understand the competition. ...

In what some employees interpreted as a sign that Microsoft was clamping down on the iPhone, the company in early 2009 modified its corporate cellphone policy to only reimburse service fees for employees using phones that run on Windows Phone software.

Microsoft has said it made the change as part of a broader cost-cutting plan.
--Nick Wingfield, WSJ, on mealy-mouth rationalizations. Kind of like John Edwards's public rationale for working at a hedge fund. HT: Gizmodo

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