10% of Microsoft Employees Using iPhones

The Wall Street Journal over the weekend profiled iPhone usage among employees of Apple's longtime rival Microsoft, noting that approximately 10,000 Microsoft employees, representing about 10% of the company's global headcount, were accessing their work e-mail accounts via iPhone last year.

Some Microsoft workers take pains to hide their iPhones. While rank-and-file workers tend to use the iPhone openly around peers, some conceal them within sight of more senior executives. One Microsoft worker said he knows several colleagues who try to disguise their iPhones with cases that make them look more like generic handsets.

"Maybe once a year I'm in a meeting with Steve Ballmer," said this employee. "It doesn't matter who's calling, I'm not answering my phone."

The report notes that Microsoft last year changed its corporate mobile phone reimbursement policies to cover only devices running Windows Mobile, although company executives have stated that the move was a cost-cutting measure rather than an attempt to clamp down on employee usage of devices from Microsoft's competitors.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has famously objected to his employees' iPhone usage, even singling out an iPhone-toting Microsoft employee at a company meeting and playfully pretending to stomp on the device.