Microsoft employees start receiving their free Surface tablets

In September, as part of a massive meeting in Redmond, Washington, Microsoft's full time employees were told that they would all be able to get free Surface tablets. It's been three months since that meeting, and over a month since attendees of Microsoft's BUILD 2012 conference all received their own free Surface RT tablets, but today is now the day for Microsoft team members to get some long-awaited no-cost swag.

ZDNet.com reports that a number of Microsoft employees took to Twitter to announce they have received their free Surface tablet today. The article states that employees in the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Austria, Ireland, Puerto Rico and New Zealand are all getting their tablets today, with employees in other countries to get their units sometime later.

The apparent plan is for the vast majority of company employees to have their Surface by Christmas. The generous move by Microsoft comes on the same day that the tablet is also selling to the general public in the US outside Microsoft Store locations. Staples and Best Buy have now started offering the tablet to its customers for sale.

Source: ZDNet.com

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The thing that would actually make the percentage of users go up will likely be attributed to the fact that the company is migrating sales into non-Microsoft owned retail properties, rather than they gave out less than 100,000 of them to employees (it's believed by many of the organizations that track retail sales that the company has sold somewhere around 500,000-600,000 devices as of this quarter, with a potential to sell up to 1M by the time the year is up).

Please... that can be written off in taxes somehow or part of the Christmas bonus. I bet they are all getting about 200 dollars less cash somewhere this year.

psionicinversion said,
isnt that going cost em a fortune to give every employee one for free

It is not really FREE. You could take it home and use it everywhere, but if you quit the company, you have to return it. Basically, it is FREE to use, but NOT free to keep.

No it's free. As in they get to keep it forever, or sell it if they want to.

They're also giving them free WP8 phones and Win 8 PC's. All 90,000+ full time employees get all of these things.

Apple regularly gives away iPhones to their employees. No wonder they cost so much, they need to cover the price of all the free ones they hand out.

1Pixel said,
No it's free. As in they get to keep it forever, or sell it if they want to.

They're also giving them free WP8 phones and Win 8 PC's. All 90,000+ full time employees get all of these things.

That's what I thought too. But my friend who works at MS in Redmond told me that phone is FREE to keep, but Surface is not. Surface is still owned by MS but FREE to use by the employees as long as they want and anywhere they want. But once they leave or quit the company they need to return it. So I asked him why. And he said it was for tax purposes.

The device belongs to Microsoft, so if you leave it goes back. This is pretty clearly stated in the terms we've gotten that the devices are owned by Microsoft and to be maintained by Microsoft IT.

It's quite normal for Microsoft to give hardware to its employees. It's kind of strange that they've only just been given the hardware since they normally work on a 'dog food' programme where by they use what they're making.

Hopefully this now translates to a lot of people being annoyed enough with the abysmal core apps, ie. Mail, Photos, Messenger etc. as the employees who'll have to mostly use them will be giving feed back directly.

Let's hope that we get a few nice updates that make the core apps actually worth using. Sending files or actually being able to send messages without the dreaded "we can't send a message right now" would be quite a nice start. Or maybe the ability to import video to the Video library rather then putting it into the Pictures library were it's forever lost/forgotten about.

I laugh when I see such comments! I guess the trend, that is web sites-turned apps, is all the rage. You really can't use the wonderful IE10 until an app is available for that site?? I wonder how you survived with out email, or texting. On my Windows 8 PCs I already have about 124 [almost all useless eye candy] apps and all they're good for is just being shortcuts to data that is readily available of the internets. And please do not try to justify the apps on Android or IOS are any different. At least on Surface you have something productive; it's called Microsoft Office.