Hiding behind the ruse of cost-cutting, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has stopped reimbursing employees’ wireless data plans — unless they are using a Windows Mobile phone. In other words, that means Microsoft will no longer pay for an Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iPhone data plan, a BlackBerry account, a Palm (NSDQ: PALM) Pre, or any others, according to Silicon Alley Insider.
This move could have been predicted. Melinda Gates, the wife of Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and partner in crime for their worldwide philanthropic activities, admitted in a Vogue’s March issue that iPhones and iPods are not allowed in their household. But also, we knew the devices, along with BlackBerries, were not allowed in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, either. Windows Mobile phones are the defacto device there, as well.
The problem with this is that Microsoft has given employees very few Windows Mobile options. Currently, the operating system is in limbo, waiting for the newer Windows Mobile 6.5 to come out later this year, and Windows Mobile 7 next year. If an employee is buying a new phone right now, they’ll be forced to buy the older OS, and then upgrade in just a few short months, and again next year, if they want the latest technology (and what good Microsoft employee doesn’t want the latest technology?). A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Alley Insider that the data plan reimbursement “is limited to Windows Mobile devices, and “this policy took effect as part of the broader cost saving measures announced earlier this year.”