Wired: Hide Your IPod, Here Comes Bill

Well, here's an article that doesn't trim at all with what I've seen at Microsoft. My first thought is, the only people who might give somebody a hard time about a music player are people like me, and it's all in fun. Second, I've seen a couple of music players on people as they walk around campus and most of the time that player isn't an iPod as far as I can tell.

"About 80 percent of Microsoft employees who have a portable music player have an iPod," said one source, a high-level manager who asked to remain anonymous. "It's pretty staggering."

If this sentence is true, I don't see it. I don't know of any gadget polls given company wide, so I have no idea where such a number would come from.

iPods are fine machines. I had one. I sold it. 🙂 There are just too many choices now to limit yourself to one brand or player. I think it's interesting that last spring, Yusuf Mehdi gave a speech where he touched on the idea that media players would proliferate and go down in price. (I blogged about it here.) Very prophetic in light of the new shuffle devices.

Comments (9)
  1. Do Microsoft employees own iPods?? My answer is, WHO CARES! Brian Johnson blogs about how he disagrees with a Wired article stating that 80% of Microsoft employees own iPods. It’s this kind of tactic (both sides) that really irritate me…

  2. Insomniac says:

    I have an iPod…can I work for Microsoft?

  3. Allen says:

    then why did that other MS employee get fired after he posted pics of macs being shipped to MS campus? MS didn’t like the image of their employees using non-MS stuff, and now it sounds like the same old story all over again.

  4. Dean Harding says:

    > then why did that other MS employee get fired after he posted pics of macs being shipped to MS campus?

    That sounds like FUD to me. *Of course* Microsoft need access to Macs – they write software for the platform: how’re they supposed to test Office for the Mac if they don’t have a few boxes lying around? I very highly doubt they’d fire someone for posting pics of it.

    You’d have to be very niave (or cynical) to think they’d ban the use of something *when they’re releasing software for that very platform*!!

  5. Allen says:

    You should do more research, because it did happen. The bloggers name was MIchael Hanscom. Here’s a link to a news article about it:


    Still think this is FUD??

  6. Dean Harding says:

    Yes I know the story. But saying they fired him for releasing to the public the fact that Microsoft buy Macs is what I’m calling FUD. The public already *know* Microsoft use Macs – they have to, right? So saying that they fired him because he "released" that information is just plain wrong.

    For example, in this article: http://bink.nu/?ArticleID=397 Michael tells us that it’s more the security implications of posting *any* pic of what Microsoft are buying were the reasons, not just because they were Macs.

    Did they overreact? Maybe. But it’s not a case of Microsoft forcing it’s employees to use only Microsoft products.

    Hell, if my employer told me I wasn’t allowed to use some product I liked just because they make their own, then I probably wouldn’t continue working there whether they fired me or not.

  7. Allen says:

    Well, call me cynical, but first you said:

    "I very highly doubt they’d fire someone for posting pics of it."

    Then when I gave an example, you said:

    "Yes I know the story"

    We could go back and forth all day about this, but I have my doubts about whether Hanscom actually believes he is at fault or if he is just trying to get back into the good graces of MS. This is what he said in the first article:

    “I was told they saw it as a security violation,” says Hanscom, a longtime Mac fan who says he was amused to see Microsoft getting the machines. “I think they might have seen it as derogatory.”

    I guess I’m cynical because this blog post is very defensive in tone. Almost makes me think someone was working off of talking points. What’s that saying, "Thou doth protest too much"

    I’d be curious to know what portable music players Brian prefers over IPod.

    BTW, I do not own an IPod and I am very pro MS, generally.

  8. Talking points? 🙂

    Just to be clear. I didn’t sell the iPod because I preferred something else or because I had any trouble with it. I had a few macs and I decided to sell them. The iPod was a Mac only model at the time, and so I didn’t have much luck using it sucessfully on Windows.

    I’m currently using a Samsung Yepp portable media center. I’ve also got a little RCA flash player, a Pocket PC, and a Smartphone.

    The thing that got me about the article is that it paints a picture that’s nothing like what I’ve seen here. If I thought it was closer to being correct, I probably wouldn’t have posted about it at all.



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