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back to article Microsofties lose their iPhones

Microsoft's cost-cutting measures are costing more than just jobs at the software giant - staff are also having to give up their iPhones and BlackBerries. If employees want to hang onto the devices they'll have to pay for their own data subscriptions. Redmond will only pick up the bill for a Windows Mobile device - not Palm, not …

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IT Angle

Silly or what

Bit sad really. Does it matter really which phone your using, if your comfortable using it you will be more productive, surely that make you more cost effective, rather than having to use a phone you don't like, want or can use.

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Flame

Forcing?

Maybe forcing their staff to actually use their own products will give them an incentive to actually make them usable? Windows mobile is a joke right now.

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Gates Horns

Beancounters...

How come these beancounters never heard of flat rates for data.... (an option that works wether you have a Palm, an iPhone or a "Windows Phone")

oops, I forgot, MS beancounters don't have iPhones and are therefore - according to Forrester -older, less educated and poorer :-)

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Silver badge

How is that cost cutting?

Is a CE device notably better than a Blackberry in any category? If instead they're that desperate to push CE devices, maybe they should do what Google did, to their UK staff at least, and give everyone a free one for Christmas?

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Gates Horns

iZune??

Zunes for all then?

I bet they have enough of them in stock anyway, seems a waste to me...

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Sounds fair enough to me.

A lot of companies pick a platform and stick to it so as to standardise their mobile estate -- I'm surprised that MS wasn't doing this already. After all, phones are just tools and MS should surely be able to support their own tools better.

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Bronze badge

Huh

I'm amazed a company the size of MS allowed a 'free for all' on Mobile costs historically. There are some fantastic cost savings to be realised with mobile providers if you agree to use x number of devices and at x quantity of calls per month. The only complication in Microsoft's case is the negotiations on a country by country basis and ensuring they get good roaming tariffs.

Plus its not exactly great advertising for an MS employee to be using non-ms products outside an R&D environment. Besides, it not an all out ban, just a chuff off if you think we're paying for it ruling. A sensible approach IMHO.

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Bronze badge

Sorry to bring cars into this again.

Ford & GM wouldn't allow you to park a car in their main car park if it wasn't theirs. What kind of sales message would it send if you looked in the car park at Dagenham and it was full of Hondas.

Good one Microsoft, can't let the punters realise that your own staff think your product is crap.

BTW. I have an iPhone, which is just so much better then the XDA it replaced, in some ways, and not in others. I paid my money and made my choice. Still think the 6310i is the best phone I ever had though.

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Maybe...

... they will also insist on them using Windows too. What is THAT going to do for their productivity?

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Jobs Horns

I agree with EINumbre

I'm amazed noby has thought of this all before. I'm more amazed that their even allowed to use iphones!

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spin ... not cost cutting

It's just pure envy on MS pointy haired bosses part.

Still if Microsoft eat their own dog food after tasting the alternatives then maybe they might improve the dogs breakfast that is Windows Mobile.

I've been using a WinMo6.1 as an Internet tether for my ipod touch and after 9 months of suffering connection problems which are only sorted out by rebooting the WinMo, an awful UI and naff applications .. I am moving to an iphone 3gs on Friday (payg as I don't actually make phone calls much and the unlimited[*] 3g and wifi is great even at £10/month after a year of included use .. shame about the current O2 coverage but I'll keep the WinMo on Three as a backup 8-).

The whole iphone/ipod touch experience is much better .. easier to browse, easier to sync ... skype actually works on it .. the app store makes consuming new apps a breeze ... etc. Whilst YMMV I have found the iphone platform unbeatable for my needs (always on internet in a portable format). I might even buy the TomTom app when it comes out and bin the WinCE-based SatNavs!

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Thumb Up

No different to us...

....our IBM resellers have IBM laptops, our HP resellers have HP laptops, so why not MS use MS products?

They all have a standard mobile phone. If they want to use a different phone they can, if they want to use a different carrier, they can, just don't expect the company to pay or offer support for it.

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Joke

iPhone users are richer....

.... they bloody well have to be to own one!

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Eh?

A company the size of Microsoft didn't standardise their hardware? What? That's unbelieveble. I have never worked for a company that didn't have standard hardware. This is the sort of thing that should have been standard since day one, it's more a news story that they didn't do this, rather than that they have banned a free for all.

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RE: Sorry to bring cars into this again

"Ford & GM wouldn't allow you to park a car in their main car park if it wasn't theirs. What kind of sales message would it send if you looked in the car park at Dagenham and it was full of Hondas."

That actually killed Studebaker and AMC here in the states. You'd drive by their factories and noticed the employees were driving a lot of other companies' marques.

As a side note, public school employees in the US are 2-3 times as likely to send their kids to public school as other people with the same income. So there y'are.

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@Dr Richard

I would check the small print, no tethering on the payg at all, and on the contract phones you have to pay for a bolt on thats more expensive than the usual dongle broadband deals, its not a gratis add on to abuse the data plan you get with the iphone :(

shame as it could have been a wonderful dream,

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Coat

no more iphones?

Maybe its part of the "I'm not successful enough to own Apple products" advert campaign...

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Anonymous Coward

should of been done from the beginning

i fully agree with this move

Why on earth should a company cough up to its own employees money for the competition !

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Gold badge

@No different to us...

"....our IBM resellers have IBM laptops, our HP resellers have HP laptops, so why not MS use MS products?"

It's bad because it creates a monoculture where nobody who works for the company has an experience of technology other than their own.

It creates a kind of limited technology gene pool.

How on earth is Microsoft going to compete with Apple or Google (in terms of mobiles, search and online services) if they stay in their own little technology dream world?

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Gates Horns

Interesting....

Maybe they don't want to have to ring up other companies tech support?

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How...

How would MS even know you're not using one of their products, short of seeing someone whip out a Pre or iPhone? Just take the sim and bung it in the phone of your choice.

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"Spend more on data plans"? Not in the USA

The unlimited data plans are identically priced on T-Mobile (Google's G1), Sprint (Palm Pre), and AT&T (Apple iPhone). For these "smart phones" this is the only data plans you can get. So it's not possible for iPhone users to spend more on data plans than other smart phone users, at least on these networks in the USA.

With minimum calls it's $70 pcm + tax. +/- 1cent on all networks.

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B 9

@Turk3y

Maybe YOU should have ready Dr Richard 's post before commenting. He used his WinMobile device as the tether so he could have access on his iPod touch. Now that he'll have an iPhone 3GS he won't need the tether at all because he'll have internet access built in.

A shame that you couldn't shelve your disdain long enough to read his post accurately before commenting. .. .

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B 9

Damn you Jonny F!

How dare you interject reality into the Apple basher's day!! They have drunk the kool-aid that iPhones are so expensive, who are you to wake them from their stupor.

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Anonymous Coward

Fine print...

Note: this story is related only to phones used primarily for work, which the company has subsidised fully or almost fully as a legitimate business cost in the past. It has absolutely no bearing on the *personal* use of an iPhone (at work or otherwise), for which employees have never received any substantial discount or benefit.

Now, within the realm of business use: if this forces anyone to get a new phone, break a service agreement, or otherwise incur cost, all of that cost -should- be subsidized by the business (whether or not this is what will actually happen, I don't know). If this does turn out to be the case, then it's pretty dumb as a cost-cutting measure in the short-term -- the business will have to pick up the cost of replacement hardware, broken contracts, and possibly iPhone disposal. If it turns out not to be true, then it's a complete disincentive to keep a work phone -- if the company won't pick up the complete tab, and sticks the employees with the bill, why pay for the privilege of being "on call" all of the time *and* be stuck with hardware you don't want? I presume that the former silliness will pan out rather than the latter.

I would also theorize that MS might have ditched the iPhone, not because it's an Apple product, but rather because it's tied to AT&T exclusively. Note that a handset that can be used with any carrier is a very important negotiating tool when it comes to thousands of handsets. If MS can put the hardware on multiple carriers, then it has some leverage to twist their arms, play them off one another, and get better service pricing in the long-term. Given that only AT&T is the only carrier available for the iPhone, they can pretty much dictate their price.

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Gates Horns

Research

If no-one in MS is allowed to familiarise themselves with the competition, how will they know how bad their own stuff is? Mind you, it hasn't worked so far...

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Alien

@ John Chadwick

Check out a Ford carpark... I'd say 50% are Ford cars, 50% are non-Ford.

i,.e, 50% ford employees with company cars and lavish discounts, 50% are contractors.

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Moto

One of the first things a head honcho at Moto did when he came in was to order that instead of Moto only handsets, all staff were to use competitor ones, so as to get a first hand look at what they were up against.

Still not seen a good handset out of them yet though.

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@Turk3y

You may have misread my use of the word tether as meaning I wanted to tether using an iphone .. I dont' hence the rest is moot for my requirements but you analysis of the costs is accurate and known to me.

For 9 or so months I have been getting a poor-mans iphone by tethering my ipod touch through an old ebay'ed winmo smart phone (using a 3rd party wifi <-> 3G tool) to Three. By having an iphone I would still have the ipod touch functionality but also a lot more and on a single device and not a wonky piece of WinMo junk in sight.

Tethering a laptot through the iphone might be nice but not a deal breaker for me as I have a separate Three contract anyway and very good coverage. So it would be iphone on its own or laptot + dongle for bigger work. Actually I'm fairly tempted at getting one of those new 13inch macbook pros with their 7 hour batteries and unibody build and backlit keyboard .. hmm nice. No interest in saving money these days so might as well enjoy it before H1N1 gets us 8-)

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Jobs Halo

Hey ...

let's hope they extend this to Microsoft employees not being allowed to used Macs. They might discover what a steaming pile of doggy doo-doo Windows is!

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Alien

insider viewpoint

@Giles Jones: absolutely right. No company can afford to only hire it's customers. We never would have gone from single-user win9x to making server OSs without that.

here's the deal with personal phones at MS:

we have phone salesmen (winmo only, heh) in the cafeterias. They are even allowed to put up huge posters* in the hallways advertising deals on phones. The only other posters are from minitruth, internal advertising. 5 years of working there has me cynical enough to believe that the company takes a cut, or perhaps a flat fee, from these guys in exchange for sales turf.

*My favorite poster was one offering a free coffee in exchange for looking at phones. We've got Starbucks iCups on every floor of every building!!

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