Microsoft held the annual company meeting for employees at Key Arena, Seattle yesterday. This is an internal meeting so it won’t be accompanied by a press release or Microsoft blog post but apparently at the meeting the employees were showered with gifts.
Seattle Key Arena
The headline act of generosity is that full time direct employees of Microsoft will all get a free Surface RT to use at work or home. The Surface RT tablet is due for launch in just over a month, on the day that Windows 8 is launched; 26th October. But that may only save employees $199 each...
Secondly “All employees will get new Windows Phone 8 devices for use at work and home. This is what Microsoft did for Windows Phone 7′s release, as well,” according to the report on GeekWire. This won’t be a “Surface Phone” or any other Windows Phone 8 device made by Microsoft, simply because it isn’t making such a thing. I would expect close partner Nokia’s Lumia WP8 devices to be the favoured freebies.
Steve Ballmer's gift giving face
Lastly employees’ office computers are going to be upgraded to new Windows 8 machines “made by the company’s hardware partners. Normally the refresh cycle is three years, but the company is looking to move employees to the new operating system en masse” says GeekWire. A short report on The Verge says that the internal office roll-out of new upgraded machines including “desktops, tablets, and laptops, have started being distributed” already. That’s quick!
With an employee base of 94,000 people worldwide Microsoft is indeed being generous with these hardware perks. The only freebie I ever got during my 15 years in the print business was one of a short run of “The Westmorland Gazette Book of the 20th Century”. It was a copy of a 260 page hardback book I spent weeks typesetting, my freebie sample rendered unsellable due to the binding company accidentally stitching the gold leaf embossed cover on upside-down...