Microsoft has confirmed that it is no longer reimbursing its employees for mobile data unless the handset is running Windows Mobile.
Users of iPhone, BlackBerry and other smartphones will now have to pay for their own data, even if the phone is being used for work. The company said that it had introduced the measure as part of cost-cutting procedures, which included the first job cuts in Microsoft's history.
The move has led to some reported unrest on Microsoft campuses, particularly from iPhone users.
Nevertheless, it cannot have come as much of a surprise. When Microsoft launched the Zune it set up an iPod amnesty bin in its headquarters where Apple users could dump their 'outdated' technology, although few did.
Such brand loyalty also extends to the home, it seems. In an interview with Vogue, Melissa Gates admitted to wanting an iPhone for herself and iPods for the children but said that they were banned from the house by her husband Bill.
Employers paying for staff mobile phone use is still fairly rare in the US but is more common in Europe. Microsoft did not say whether the changes would be applied worldwide.
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