Surprise amounts of disbelief over the weekend at Microsoft’s apparent unhappiness with employees who choose to buy an iPhone rather than carry one of the company’s own smartphones. In a WSJ piece – from which both Microsoft and Apple spokespeople perhaps wisely kept away from – Microsoft employees are described as “nuts for the [iPhone]”, though many attempt to hide their use from senior management or even disguise the Apple handset with generic-looking cases. Biggest motivator to drink the Windows Mobile Kool-Aid? Since early last year, Microsoft won’t let employees expense their service fees for anything other than Windows Phones.
It’s an issue which has apparently prompted heated discussion between executives, some of whom believe it’s to the benefit of in-house designs for employees to be familiar with the competition, while others like Kevin Turner, chief operating officer, reckon “what’s good for the field is good for Redmond.”
Still, the mood is expected to change – a little, at least – when Windows Phone 7 debuts toward the end of 2010, a platform which, as the Zune to Zune HD transition suggested, could make the Microsoft offering a whole lot more palatable. We can’t help but thinking, though, that Microsoft will be criticised no matter what stance they take: issue every employee with a Windows Mobile device and they’d be called fiscally irresponsible; demand staff buy a Windows Mobile device themselves and they’d end up getting sued.