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Microsoft executives say workers use competitors products to learn about the competition

The rivalry between Microsoft and Apple is one of legend. The two firms battle in many major categories including computers, mobile phones, and music players. The rivalry between the two firms has grown to epic proportions and in some instances; employees at Microsoft have been discouraged from using competitor's offerings.

In June of 2009, Microsoft changed its corporate policy to stipulate that it would only cover employees cell phone bills as long as the employee used a Microsoft-powered device. That means that the employees using the iPhone or a Blackberry were no longer being reimbursed for their calls. Microsoft said the reason for the move was to save money.

The Wall Street Journal reports that despite the fact that Microsoft workers using iPhones is frowned upon, many of them still use the Apple smartphone. The use of the iPhone is reportedly not hidden or uncommon at Microsoft's Seattle campus. Workers use the device openly in cafeterias and other locations reports the WSJ. According to reports, nearly 10,000 Microsoft workers are accessing the Microsoft employee email system using the iPhone. That number represents 10% of the firm's global workforce.

Microsoft executives have tried to spin employee use of the iPhone and other competitor's offerings. Microsoft's Andy Lees and Robbie Bach stated at a question and answer even that Microsoft workers often used a competitor's product to understand the competition. Microsoft COO Kevin turner also denied that he discouraged sales staff from using the iPhone. Turner stated, "What's good for the field is good for Redmond," according to one Q&A attendee.

There seems to be some that are uncomfortable using competitor's products at Microsoft. The WSJ reports that one person told the publication that some workers try to disguise their iPhone with generic cases. Some workers are also hesitant to use non-Microsoft devices in front of executives.

Despite the healthy rivalry, there are reports that Apple and Microsoft are teaming up against a common foe. Such is the case with the two firms reportedly in talks to see Bing search replace Google search on the iPhone. 

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RE: Wow adding insult to the injury
By whiskerwill on 3/15/2010 1:38:36 PM , Rating: 3
I've had this lousy BB Curve with 3G on Verizon now for almost 2 years. With Opera Mini it does everything an iPhone can do
You mean besides the accelerometer, the touch screen, the tens of thousands of add-on applications, and a few dozen other things?

I don't like Apple, but stupid statements like this just give Apple supporters more ammunition.

By Alexstarfire on 3/15/2010 3:55:44 PM , Rating: 2
The 10s of thousands of apps is really "access to Apple App Store" and very similarly, access/ability to use Flash in their web browser. I don't know about the rest, but by including 10s of thousands of apps you're basically saying that every other phone fails regardless of what it has on it unless it has access to those 10s of thousands of apps, of which only the iPhone and iPod Touch have access to.

By nikon133 on 3/15/2010 4:58:55 PM , Rating: 2
That is relative.

I have an iPhone and only downloaded application that I actually use is Stanza reader. Yes I do have 1 farting app, 2 shotgun/machine gun apps, lightsabre app, couple of games I have downloaded out of curiosity but never really played. At the end of the day, I'm using it as a phone, quick email check (I do like email app), txting, short Internet searches (text info only) and ebook reader.

Stanza is great reader but what really annoys me is that I can't drag and drop my old ebooks from PC to iPhone - I have to open each on Stanza Desktop and individually sync it with iPhone Stanza over wireless. True I don't read 20 books a day so it is not that much of an effort, but it is retarded and just one of annoying side-products of Apple's close system approach.

Additionally, while (still) good ebook reader, iPhone is very poor phone. Here in NZ, my iPhone (and couple others from my mates and people I know) are much less sensitive than other devices - I will get "No Service" on couple of spots around the city where my company Nokia E63 or previous BB Pearl had no problems. I actually thought there might be something wrong with my phone, but couple of other people confirmed same experience with theirs; it seems radio in iPhone leaves something to be desired, which is a bit of a shame for a premium phone.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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