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  (Source: tabacco.blog-city.com)
Microsoft will only cover data plans for Windows-based mobile phones

Technology firms are notorious for some of the perks they offer to retain employees. Google is perhaps the most notorious giver of perks with gourmet lunches and swimming spas to keep its working masses happy.

Google has found more recently that its perks can’t keep some of its most important people from leaving. Microsoft is another of the big firms that offers perks that many employees have now taken for granted. With the tough global economy, Microsoft has been shedding employees as it shores up its finances to weather the economic storm.

BusinessInsider reports that one of the benefits that Microsoft employees have enjoyed over the years is being dropped. Microsoft has implemented a new policy that will no longer pay for employees’ mobile phones and data plans, even when used extensively for work, if the mobile phone runs on anything other than Windows Mobile.

That means that Microsoft workers that previously had their BlackBerry or iPhone plans covered will now have to pay on their own. Some Microsoft-owned firms will continue to get other devices paid for though. Razorfish (an advertising agency owned by Microsoft) employees will reportedly still get data plans paid for on any device.

BusinessInsider reports that a Microsoft rep has confirmed the change and said, "[Reimbursement] is limited to Windows Mobile devices. This policy took effect as part of the broader cost saving measures announced earlier this year."



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I See No Problem With This
By clarkey01 on 6/15/2009 11:18:14 AM , Rating: 5
End of




RE: I See No Problem With This
By Screwballl on 6/15/09, Rating: 0
RE: I See No Problem With This
By WW102 on 6/15/2009 12:18:02 PM , Rating: 5
The point shouldnt be how much they make and if they can afford it. The only real consideration should be if having the phone for work adds value to the company. But to clear it up and make it simple Microsoft should be issuing phones and not expensing phones. That way they have complete control over phone model and data plan.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By mikefarinha on 6/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: I See No Problem With This
By William Gaatjes on 6/15/2009 2:07:51 PM , Rating: 5
I disagree with you.

A company phone is work related. Not for home use.
And the choice of the phonemodel can be linked to the type of work you do.

It is the same as traveling expenses. Next thing you know, people want fuel for non work related trips.

And that windows mobile only is allowed, nothing wrong with that. It will make them see the designflaws faster by in house use. And that way it is easier to design a future hardware/software combo that delivers the best experience. The apple way so to say.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By retrospooty on 6/15/2009 2:27:30 PM , Rating: 5
Yup... you gotta eat your own dogfood.

How ugly is it if an MS employee shows up at a business meeting with a BB or iPhone. If I were MS management, I would only pay for winmobile phones. Same if I were Apple or Palm, or any company.

You want your own phone, fine - you want the company to pay for it? Use our products.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By TomZ on 6/15/2009 2:32:36 PM , Rating: 3
I agree - if MS products are not good enough for MS employees, then they should improve them so they are, or else exit that particular market.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By segerstein on 6/15/2009 5:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
Newer HTC models and SE Xperia are good phones.

Unless there is a work related killer app not available on WM, the company should promote its own wares.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By jconan on 6/15/2009 2:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
That was Google's policy with the development of android and also that's why android is getting better.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By TomZ on 6/15/2009 2:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
Are all Google employees required to use Android-powered phones? I doubt it.

I'm sure the devs working on Windows Mobile are all using it daily. It would be silly if they weren't. The question is - what about the rest of the organization?


RE: I See No Problem With This
By Alexvrb on 6/15/2009 6:50:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Are all Google employees required to use Android-powered phones? I doubt it.
Are all Microsoft employees required to use WM-powered phones? No. Did you read the article? Or the post to which jconan was replying? Neither of those implied that MS or Google employees were required to do so. Merely encouraged, especially for business purposes.

http://androidcommunity.com/google-gives-employees...

I'd have much rather recieved the $400 cash, if I was them. But as the article points out, I'm sure ebay helped out quite a few googlers.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By retrospooty on 6/16/2009 9:22:32 AM , Rating: 2
The question is - Are all Google employees with company paid phones required to use Android-powered phones? I doubt it.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By Souka on 6/15/2009 4:39:53 PM , Rating: 1
Better yet, MS employees should only be allowed to get work email on Windows devices only... even if they pay for their own non-windows device plan, email can only be sent to Windows deviecs.

And yes this can be controlled and enforced.

It's a perk..not a right...

My $.02


By inperfectdarkness on 6/15/2009 11:40:37 PM , Rating: 2
I've never heard of GM offering discounts/subsidies on Fords, either.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By Darkk on 6/17/2009 1:59:53 AM , Rating: 3
It'll backfire on Microsoft. Here is why. Employees with personal phones and plans will be reluntant to answer or make calls even it's for business. Simply because itemizing the bills are pain in the butt to get reimbursed. So in most cases those employees will be harder to reach on their personal phones.

I don't mind receiving calls on my personal phone ONCE in awhile but not 10 times a day. Nope. I told my boss that I will NOT answer those calls unless the company is willing to pay a portion of my cell bill. Easier just to ignore the calls since the they don't have a leg to stand on employee's personal items. I will, however, answer when my boss calls me... obviously.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By callmeroy on 6/17/2009 8:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
I have two cell phones one is given by work (blackberry) and one is my craptastic 5 year old LG flip phone that has no fancy bells or whistles of "modern" phones...(that was not really my point but I just wanted to explain my crappy phone for some reason..lol)....anyway --- I resolve the issue you explain, as I too get peeved when work uses my private cell phone, by stating my cell phone number is for emergency contact purposes only on my HR record. So far I've had no issues -- all work calls go to the work phone (as it should).

Your point is a bit more rebellious than mine though --- if you are using a phone of your liking, but not what the company policy states they will re-imburse, and its clearly a phone for work --- if you refuse to answer work related calls I simply can not see how any employer in the US does NOT have the grounds to simply fire you, I also woulnd't know a judge who wouldn't support that reason for termination either.

The difference is with Microsoft they are clearly stating "if you get xyz type of phone --- we'll cover you, if not we won't"....the court would simply go on the theory of you were well aware of the policy and the options you had, but you ignored them and then refused to use the phone for work.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By jconan on 6/15/2009 2:37:37 PM , Rating: 3
unless you're using the phone for business purposes. a lot of people with company phones use them for non-company business like texting, surfing the net for sales, videos, and etc. a company shouldn't have to pay for the non-business aspects...

back then in the dot com era everything was allowable because of the nascent development of phone technology. however knowing where technology leads to can present more liabilities than it is worth.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By invidious on 6/15/2009 3:17:11 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean "these people"? You honestly think that the DT community isn't made up in a large part by "these people"? If you think tech careers are over paid then go get a tech degree.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By rs1 on 6/15/09, Rating: 0
RE: I See No Problem With This
By Fanon on 6/15/2009 11:47:36 AM , Rating: 3
I agree. I don't see how they can enforce it with providers like AT&T, unless AT&T provides Microsoft with detailed information on what phone the employee used. Take SIM card out of Windows-based phone, place SIM card in Blackberry or iPhone.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By SunAngel on 6/15/09, Rating: -1
RE: I See No Problem With This
By monomer on 6/15/2009 12:58:13 PM , Rating: 3
Errmm, I'd imagine that if MS is paying the bill, they probably received some type of paperwork saying the make of phone to approve the charges.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By TomZ on 6/15/2009 2:18:06 PM , Rating: 3
I doubt it, but on the other hand, I'm sure it is best to avoid the uncomfortable meeting with your boss where he/she figures out you've been lying for the past year about the brand of cell phone you've been expensing.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By jimbojimbo on 6/15/2009 4:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
They use Exchange and it will report what phone you are using to synch with your mailbox if you're using ActiveSync. If you're not synching at all they shouldn't be reimbursing and so on. Really quite easy to keep track.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By SuperFly03 on 6/15/2009 11:55:02 AM , Rating: 4
I agree.

Nothing really shocking here. This isn't that big of a loss. Welcome to the real world, paying for your own cell phone bill.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By monomer on 6/15/2009 12:55:39 PM , Rating: 2
The problem I see is that some people locked themselves into a 2 year contract, which they were assured would be paid for by their company.

I can see MS implementing this on all new plans, so that employees don't buy new iPhones from now on, but to take away this benefit for only some employees is pretty bad practice.


RE: I See No Problem With This
By SuperFly03 on 6/15/2009 2:43:24 PM , Rating: 2
For all major carriers you are allowed to modify your phone plan at any point in the contract without renewing the agreement. So if you can't afford it or don't want it you can drop the data package whenever.

No real loss to the employee except a pro-rata charge for one month.


By deltadeltadelta on 6/15/2009 2:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
This is pure speculation, but I would imagine they will grandfather people in. I would think they simply will not renew when someone's contract is up (unless they go for a Windows Mobile device).


RE: I See No Problem With This
By omnicronx on 6/15/2009 1:33:36 PM , Rating: 3
Is everyone in here article skimming? They are not making their employees pay for their entire cell phone bill, just the data plans if they don't have a Windows Mobile phone. They probably have a deal with their providers, making little sense to pay normal rates for other devices. And lets face it, the amount of bandwidth people actually need for work is nothing compared to the plans that these people probably have. Most phones only download email headers and not even the entire message or attachment unless specified, so I don't see how the average person needs more than 50M per month, if that for work email use. Otherwise neither BB or the Iphone have a suitable office editor/viewer (really neither does winMo for that matter, although its better than both its competitors), so what exactly do you need the bandwidth for?

Browsing the net is not a requirement in the workplace, (although many people somehow think it is) sometimes I really wonder how people got things done as little as 5 years ago =P


RE: I See No Problem With This
By SuperFly03 on 6/15/2009 2:47:32 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the catch: there is only an unlimited data plan. When you look at the plans you can't buy 50MB/mo or 100MB/mo the data is either on or off.

I do agree with your point though and do realize M$ is only paying the data package but that's another $40/mo.

On my phone I actually download full emails, view attachments and use GPS/internet for work. Granted it's usually finding my way to a new client or hunting down an oil rig or finding somewhere for lunch out of town but still very necessary activity.

Yes, I pay 100% of my own cell bill. :)


RE: I See No Problem With This
By omnicronx on 6/15/2009 3:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
On my phone I actually download full emails, view attachments and use GPS/internet for work. Granted it's usually finding my way to a new client or hunting down an oil rig or finding somewhere for lunch out of town but still very necessary activity.
Of course there will be exceptions, but for the majority of MS employees they do not need the all of these features on a daily basis.

From the sounds of it, you need a data package to perform day to day business, not too many office dwellers can make the same case ;)

'Hmm I wonder why the closest vending machine is.. I'll just startup my GPS and I will be on my way' ;)


RE: I See No Problem With This
By SuperFly03 on 6/16/2009 1:13:23 AM , Rating: 2
Haha.

I don't disagree but there are some that live on the data package. A man's gotta eat ya know? :p


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