Microsoft employees get deflating news about that free Surface

Remember a couple months ago when news leaked that Microsoft was giving all 94,000 employees their own Surface RT?

The announcement was made at the all-hands company meeting in Seattle in September, as Todd Bishop reported at the time:

All full-time direct, employees (a.k.a. Blue Badges/FTEs) will get a Surface RT machine for use at work and home.

If you thought that meant “free Surface for everyone!” think again.

I’m told that the terms of the deal were spelled out more clearly today:

While personal use is not prohibited, these are not personal gifts and may not be given away or resold.

Oh, and if you leave the company, you’ll be expected to hand over your Surface along with your blue badge. You can’t take it with you.

I wonder if there are tax-related reasons for the sudden change of policy…

No word yet on whether any Hulk-style attacks of rage have been seen in Redmond.

7 thoughts on “Microsoft employees get deflating news about that free Surface

  1. ummm, how is this a “change in policy”, let alone a “sudden” one? Todd reported that employees will get a Surface “for use at work or at home”. I don’t see anything inconsistent with what you heard today, they get a Surface, can use it at work or at home, but just can’t sell it on eBay 😛

  2. This sounds like every other company policy. A workplace gives you company equipment to use at work or at home for work and personal use. Do you really think that it’s actually yours? I don’t think so. If I worked at a company that gave me the ability to use all the devices, software, and services for work and personal use for free while working there, I’d gladly use them without complaint. I also wouldn’t expect that I’d get to keep them unless there was documentation specifically stating that that the equipment was mine to keep even after my employment. I also surely wouldn’t try selling the devices on eBay while under the company’s employment. It’s just common sense.

  3. I’ll bet a lot of MSFT employees who bought a Surface on the first day started asking if they could sell or give the free one to friends or family. Once a critical mass of folks asked this question, there was a need for clarification.

    A friend who works for MSFT purposely put off buying a Surface, waiting till the company ones are issued. MSFT wants as many of these things out in the wild as possible and their best advocates are their employees. My guess is that it doesn’t take long for these to be issued.

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