Microsoft management frustrated as 80 percent of MS workers with music players have Apple iPods

“Microsoft’s leafy corporate campus in Redmond, Washington, is beginning to look like the streets of New York, London and just about everywhere else: Wherever you go, white headphones dangle from peoples’ ears. To the growing frustration and annoyance of Microsoft’s management, Apple Computer’s iPod is wildly popular among Microsoft’s workers,’ Leander Kahney reports for Wired News.

“‘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.’ The source estimated 80 percent of Microsoft employees have a music player — that translates to 16,000 iPod users among the 25,000 who work at or near Microsoft’s corporate campus. ‘This irks the management team no end,’ said the source. So popular is the iPod, executives are increasingly sending out memos frowning on its use,’ Kahney reports.

“‘These guys are really quite scared,’ said the source of Microsoft’s management. ‘It shows how their backs are against the wall…. Even though it’s Microsoft, no one is interested in what we have to offer, even our own employees.’ So concerned is management, owning an iPod at Microsoft is beginning to become impolitic, the manager said. Employees are hiding their iPods by swapping the telltale white headphones for a less conspicuous pair,” Kahney reports. “As for hiding his own iPod use, the manager said he flaunts his iPod, despite the constant comments — and occasional arguments — it prompts. ‘I don’t really care if it pisses them off,’ he said. ‘I’ll argue why they’re doing it wrong. If you want me to stop using it, give me a product that works and is as easy to use.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wonder how long it’ll take before they’re hiding Mac minis in their cubicles?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Windows Media songs and videos found to carry Windows malware payloads – December 30, 2004
Columnist: Apple’s smug faithful will not prevail, Microsoft ‘good enough’ for the rest of us – April 16, 2004
The height of irony: Microsoft executive whines Apple-HP music deal ‘unfair’ – January 14, 2004
Microsoft unhappy with HP, Apple music pact; says deal will ‘limit choice’ – January 13, 2004


  1. alec,

    The most important part of your comment isn’t that 80% of iPod users have wintel pc’s, it’s that they had the pc’s first.

    After using an MS os and apps, they shunned the MS product and chose a better one made by Apple.

    You don’t have to just smile quietly, you can laugh out loud with the rest of us. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />


  2. Hey look at this one also: form today news by Dow Jones Newswire on Gates in Brussels “…Gates’ trip was shrouded in secrecy at least in part because the last time he came here, a prankster threw a pie in his face. Microsoft officials said they wanted no repeat.
    “This is a private visit, a chance for Bill to talk about general issues of competitiveness,” said Dirk Delmartino, a Microsoft spokesman.”

    full story here.

  3. Right on Avoman. As it’s been said many times, M$ is all for choice all right, as long as that choice is M$. Thankfully Apple is winning the DRM war between Fairplay and AAC and that is what has the M$ management frustrated above anything.

  4. Another article highlight:

    “But at the Windows Digital Media Group, which is charged with software for portable players and the WMA format, using an iPod is not a good career move.”

  5. “Next they’ll be modding their G5s so management won’t know that they are doing their code development on them!!”

    Windows might actually improve if that were the case!

    This morning on the way to work I saw a billboard which beautifully illustrates what Microsoft is up against here. The billboard was for a new radio station here in Albuquerque (103.3 for ABQ Peter), and the slogan read, “Like your iPod…on steroids.” Hey, Bill, the third horseman just rode in. Expect the fourth sometime in the next few months. His name is H.264, aka QuickTime 7. It’s over.

  6. Micro$oftopoly says customers want choice:
    iPod Photo- 2 sizes
    iPod – 3 sizes
    iPod mini- 5 colors
    iPod Shuffle- 2 sizes
    and soon…
    Mr Moto cell phones.
    and maybe…
    iTunes for PlayStation Portable

  7. Great story, Bamer is porbably doing an angry dance right about now. But this isn’t any different than the Ford employee being told that his owning a Japanese car is not good for team spirit.

  8. hey ndelc, how ya doing? i don’t listen to the radio anymore, too many commercials. have you found an iTunes cap yet? everyone is right, ms wants choice as long as they choose ms. sounds like an election in the old soviet union.
    my magic word is “nuclear”; hmm, are there bomb shelters in redmond?!

  9. great story… I actually switch away my white earbuds for a different reason: everyone has them.

    Of course.. I’m not some Creative fanboy.. who buys a shit product to spite everyone else.. but everyone has those white earbuds man..

    Besides.. you know.I prefer headphones..

  10. Well, at least those 16,000 iPods are hooked up to Windows version of iTune I suppose. This is The real Trojan Horse. Next, those employees will be hiding their Mac Mini under their table and use a switcher to change the screen when ever the management passes by but hey, Steve Ballmer couldn’t distinguish the Mac OSX from “LongThorn” anyway.

  11. The Microsoft manager said he’s heard from several executives who dutifully bought Microsoft-powered players, tried them, failed to get them working, and returned them in favor of an iPod. He went through the same experience, he said.

    Plays for sure, eh?

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