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A Windows Phone 7 For Every Microsoftie 298

theodp writes "So, how can Microsoft guarantee its Windows Phone 7 devices will enjoy broader adoption than the ill-fated Kin? By giving every Microsoft employee a free one, that's how. A Microsoft spokesman confirmed the move, explaining that the idea is to thank employees for all their work, and make sure that they have experience with Windows Phone 7 devices. Microsoft has nearly 90,000 employees worldwide."
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A Windows Phone 7 For Every Microsoftie

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Don't buy WP7. It's made out of PEOPLE !!

    • " Don't buy WP7. It's made out of PEOPLE !! "

      I could be worse - it could be made out of KINs instead of next of kins.

      Hot new item @ microsoft - cases that make your iPhone look like a WP7 phone - complete with BSOD screen-saver.

      The Balminator: "Hey - is that an iPhone?

      Employee: "I wish - blue-screened again!"

      The Balminator: "Okay, I guess I can find someone else to throw this chair at."

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Total Bullshit, Cynical Move by MS. Really worthy of some spleen and bile.

        They stopped giving a damn about "their people" at least 5 years ago. For instance, last month, as the old fiscal year ended, they pulled all the soda cases from every office - replaced with vending machines. That's 1 year after they stopped all the regular food-service and snack items.

        Any tech company in California or Western Europe has done the calculation. The expense on these things returns a fantastic benefit in the morale, p

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Uhh... That's nonsense. MS may be a shitty company to the rest of the world, but to their employees, they're pretty damn good. Dunno where you got that vending machine claim, but I suggest you stick it back from whence it came.

        • by Sivar ( 316343 ) <`moc.liamg]' `ta' `[snrubnselrahc'> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:36PM (#32993720)

          That's funny, I was just in several of the buildings in Redmond last week and found that all drinks -- even those in the cafeteria, are gratis. Paying isn't even an option -- there's simply nowhere to put the change.

          For any personal issues you may find with Microsoft as a company, I have seen and heard nothing but good things from their employees.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:50AM (#32988572) Homepage Journal

    I'll use a Windows Mobile phone, too... if it's free. Sure as hell never paying for another device running WinCE, the most pointless operating system ever.

    • Windows Phone 7 isn't even real Windows CE. The user can't load and run apps designed for previous versions of Windows Mobile, only apps designed from Silverlight or XNA, and even then only from the official app store. Want to make your own apps? 99 bucks a year, just like iPhone. (To be fair, iPhone copied this app store model largely from Microsoft's XNA Creators Club and Xbox Live Indie Games.)
    • by tokul ( 682258 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:13AM (#32988796)

      I'll use a Windows Mobile phone, too... if it's free.

      The first one is always free.

    • I'll use a Windows Mobile phone, too... if it's free.

      Yeah, the phone is free, but the replacement printer cartridges are really expensive. That's where they are going to get their employees.

      I think . . . or something like that . . .

    • by kervin ( 64171 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:44AM (#32989202) Homepage

      I'll use a Windows Mobile phone, too... if it's free. Sure as hell never paying for another device running WinCE, the most pointless operating system ever.

      Wow, this is the entire content of a +5 Insightful post.

      Could you at least give us a single piece of technical evidence to back that up? However anecdotal?

    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      When was the last time you touched WinCE? 1.0?

      A hell of a lot has changed since then. Sure, it wasn't as awesome as Palm or Qtopia back then, but that was a decade ago.

      There are a lot of truly useful apps on WinMo which are not available on the App Store. The phones work better (longer battery life, typically better signal, better hands free, etc.) and typically, they're able to interface with your desktop tasks better (file/media sharing/copying, tethering, mail, browsing, GPS). With the HTC frontend (can'

  • calls to the south pole? []
    Would the undocumented feature payment from MS go to the phone company?
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:50AM (#32988582) Journal

    It's absolutely mind-boggling that Windows Phone 7 is missing some very fundamental features, like copy/paste, third-party multitasking, and universal search.

    Absolutely mind-boggling you say? How about absolutely doomed?

    In the past, competitors like Apple were lambasted by the public for not having such features, so you'd think Microsoft would take precautions not to repeat such mistakes.

    You don't understand, Microsoft is adept at watching Apple do something right or make progress and then totally just think that they're different and special and therefore won't suffer from those problems.

    What's worse, the rest of the smartphone world isn't slowing down, and with Windows Phone 7 not scheduled to launch till the holidays, the divide could get deeper.

    It's called releasing a phone that's already behind the curve. So, unless you have a product name that causes people to hemorrhage cash [] regardless of the features, you're doomed. Like the release of the Zune. Except it appears Windows Phone 7 doesn't even have an exclusive 'squirt' functionality.

    Criticisms aside, there's a lot we like about Windows Phone 7. The Zune integration is killer, and the core apps are much improved.

    Zune integration is 'killer' you say? That's going to do it, huh? Well, everybody who owns a Zune now has the option to integrate it. All five of them. And the core apps are much improved? After suffering from the ailments of IE6 you think I want any version of Internet Exploder on my goddamn mobile device? You're insane. I don't care how refined it is.

    We also commend Microsoft for being able to acknowledge that its old OS wasn't working and taking a chance on rebuilding something from the ground up.

    Really? You're telling me that Microsoft owned up to and acknowledge its old OS wasn't working? I've never known Microsoft to tell their customers that something is wrong.

    Long story short this product is doomed with a 97% confidence of certain doomage.

    • by mdwh2 ( 535323 )

      Absolutely mind-boggling you say? How about absolutely doomed?

      Indeed. Whilst people may have criticised the Apple Iphones for lacking these features (rightly so - just as we criticise any product lacking features, especially that other far cheaper bog standard products have had for years), there has also been plenty of defence of "But no one cares about these features" (or even, spinning it as a "good thing because it saves battery life" - event though the Iphones seem to guzzle battery life faster than oth

      • But I find it interesting if the media are now going to criticise Microsoft because their phone lacks these features, when the Iphones got praised for it.

        Okay, wait a minute. The iPhone didn't get praised for lacking copy/paste, it got panned for it. There were apps springing up on Cydia to hack the support into it. Blackberry users were calling the phone a bad joke. Apple did what it always does, which was to insist that it wasn't a big deal, right up until they released an OS for the phone that supported

      • by qazwart ( 261667 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:45AM (#32989220) Homepage

        There is a concept in the marketing industry called "The Delta". The Delta is the thing your product has that not only distinguishes it from other products, but will get consumers to choose your product over the others -- despite other possible short comings.

        The original iPhone came out without copy/paste, but it still offered some unique features that allowed people to "forgive" Apple on that aspect. The web browser, the interface, the coolness factor, etc. Apple claimed they didn't include copy/paste because they were trying to work out the way to have copy/paste on a touch interface without any menuing system. When the iPhone finally came out with copy/paste, most people praised it as simple, intuitive, and easy to use.

        One problem with Windows 7 Phone is that the copy/paste issue has been solved. We know how to have a nice copy/paste interface. The other issue is that the Windows 7 Phone isn't unique. What's the "Delta" over the iPhone and Android phones? This isn't saying that Windows 7 Phone isn't competitive, but that whatever advantages it has must make people decide to buy the device over the iPhone which does come with copy/paste, 100K+ apps, a wide consumer environment, and its coolness factor.

        If the Windows 7 Phone came out two years ago, it would be extremely competitive and people would be rushing out to buy it. As it stands now, it is just another app phone missing features that other app phones already have.

        • by hey ( 83763 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @10:17AM (#32989650) Journal

          This is Slashdot, we know that "delta" means difference... from Calculus. Just like marketing to take a clearly defined term and turn it into something vague. "What's your delta?".

        • As an Xbox 360 owner (but not a Zune owner), "The Delta" for me is Xbox LIVE integration. I don't know if it will be enough to replace my iPhone, but from what I can see, it would be the only reason I'd consider it. That said, while I might forgive copy & paste to get to Xbox LIVE, I won't give up multitasking for it.
      • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:47AM (#32989262)

        You keep going on about Apple and features. I was involved with developing user training for the first gen iPhone and I can tell you, what features YOU want didn't make version one based on very careful market research and engineering tradeoffs.

        It's not like Apple said, "nobody wants remote wipe so we aren't going to do it". Instead, they said, "we have X amount of schedule and Y amount of budget, so we have to decide what is more important to our target audience: a great iPod interface, or some dorky enterprise tools." And it's not like they just accidentally forgot to include copy/paste in the OS either--they practically invented copy/paste (they were the first to map them to their current keyboard shortcuts of command C and V, respectively).

        In short, if you needed a business phone with enterprise features, you most likely already had a blackberry. If you wanted a consumer device that would suffice as a business phone (with limitations), then you might have bought an iPhone.

        • by flyboy974 ( 624054 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:15AM (#32990470)
          This is absolutely the correct answer. I run a large development organization and we constantly have to go back and forth with our business team to talk about the cost of a feature.

          Features, although great, cost you time and money (It's time and labor or T&L in my world). T&L represents development, QA, documentation, training, support, and long term maintenance from those teams as well.

          Once you have a feature, you expect to have it forever. From Waynes World, Garth said it right. "We fear change. Change is Evil!". We can give you a different way to do it, or take away a feature. But who wants that?

          BTW, the original comments ability to get some Invader Zim into a topic. Classic. Love JTHM.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mr_Silver ( 213637 )

      It's absolutely mind-boggling that Windows Phone 7 is missing some very fundamental features, like copy/paste, third-party multitasking, and universal search.

      Absolutely mind-boggling you say? How about absolutely doomed?

      Whilst I agree with everything you say, for some bizzare reason lack of cut and paste doesn't seem to be as much of a deal breaker as we make out. It's implementation within the HTC Desire is a complete and utter disaster (tapping and holding can do at least 3 different possible things) and

    • I've never known Microsoft to tell their customers that something is wrong.

      In their defense, I think they actually did once. After years of denying that anything was wrong with Vista, they basically came out with 7 and said, "Ok, we know we screwed up before. Truth time: Our new OS is better, we promise."

      Its not much, but they DID admit that vista sucked.

    • by qortra ( 591818 )

      Zune integration is 'killer' you say? That's going to do it, huh? Well, everybody who owns a Zune now has the option to integrate it. All five of them.

      Hah, that reminds me of a quote from Chuck:

      Chuck: "Morgan, hey, uh, buddy do we carry any Rush CDs in the store?"
      Morgan: "No need, I got 'em all on my Zune"
      Chuck: "You have a Zune?"
      Morgan: "Are you kidding me? No, no, I'll grab my iPod"

    • by Eponymous Coward ( 6097 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:35AM (#32989088)

      I have a hard time understanding why they are using the Windows brand for their phone OS. Does it share anything with their desktop OS? At this point (especially on a phone), the Windows brand has negative value. At least they didn't tack on a .net or live.

      • by qortra ( 591818 )

        Does it share anything with their desktop OS?

        The Silverlight and .NET frameworks, for starters. Even if it didn't share anything with the desktop OS, there is likely still value in making people think it does.

        At this point (especially on a phone), the Windows brand has negative value.

        Certainly, the 'Windows Mobile' moniker on a phone is kind of like the 'Titanic' moniker for a boat or the 'Hindenburg' moniker for a dirigible. That being said, I don't think the 'Windows' brand as a whole has "negative value". It is the most widely deployed desktop OS in the world. As I said above, there is some utility in making people believe

      • by Xarius ( 691264 )

        And does it even have "windows" at all?

      • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:13AM (#32990436) Homepage

        Windows may have negative value to people here on Slashdot. But if you're an executive for whom computers isn't your core business, Windows = business and Apple = schoolkids. Windows implies solid integration with Outlook, your windows shared files, doc files, etc. When you try to open that 30MB excel spreadsheet containing 5,000 separate sheets and every aspect of your business, it will open fine. (I've seen people with these. I accidentally erased one once.). Meeting invites will get through just fine, unlike that hippie kid in marketing with the Macintosh. And since you already know Windows thanks to that training seminar you went to, you should be fine with this.

        Really, the competitor for a "Windows" based smartphone is the Blackberry, not the iPhone. And while RIM has been doing an all around good job, if you've been using a blackberry for years there are enough quirks that you'd probably want to switch to something easier to use and better.

    • by JanneM ( 7445 )

      "Long story short this product is doomed with a 97% confidence of certain doomage."

      Well, perhaps avoid doom if it gets rooted, then people can load Android on it. Make it a good phone.

    • Frankly Microsoft's Zune Pass is really cool. The Zune HD is also a really nice device.
      With the Zune Pass for $15 a month you get all the music you want.
      You can then download $10 DRM free songs each month.
      Not a bad deal at all. If I just wanted a music player I would really be tempted to get a Zune.
      I wish that they offered it for my Android phone.

      Yes I do not have a lot of hope for WinMo7 or WinPho7 or what ever they are calling it but in a way that is really too bad.
      They have some good ideas and can produc

    • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:53PM (#32991978) Journal

      Microsoft always admits that their products are flawed, after they release new versions. It's one of the ways they get people to get the next version.

      Every version of Windows since 1995 have had what I call "purchase reassurance messages" during the install where they say "This is the best version of Windows yet!"; which is actually a backhanded way of saying "We know the previous version had many flaws and sucked out loud, but this one doesn't as much!"

      Windows 95 is great! It will change everything! >>> Windows 95 is terrible! Windows 98 fixes all the problems! >>> Windows 98 has deep and serious flaws. Windows ME fixes that for the home user, and Windows 2000 is the ultimate answer for business! >>> Windows ME is shit! Windows XP will save the world! >>> Windows XP is old and outdated - just look at the UI. Windows Vista is the new way to do everything faster, and more reliably! >>> We realize that Windows Vista wasn't the best we could do, but Windows 7 is!

      They've been doing this for decades, and people just keep buying in.

  • by ion++ ( 134665 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:53AM (#32988602)

    But only to true employees, not to temps and interns.

  • Microsoft's strategy sounds good in theory, but if in practice their own employees ends up not liking or using their free phones, how would that look for them? Only time will tell.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by east coast ( 590680 )
      Maybe Microsoft is interested in finding out who uses it, how and why and likewise from the non-users. I don't understand what the big stir is about a company using it's own product and looking for employee feedback.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Keebler71 ( 520908 )
      Maybe MS just wants to find out if there are any major design flaws before releasing it to the public... say... like an antenna design flaw... booyaa!
      • Good point. The last thing Steve Ballmer wants is to lose a call and have Steve Jobs pop out from behind a tree, pointing as he yells a Nelson Monts style "HA HA!"
      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Apple tried that too, but it seems their employees weren't able to keep their iphones for long enough without losing them...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:55AM (#32988632)
    but, I think the interface is very sleek and my company develops business applications to Mobile devices and I am in the group to develop applications for Windows Phone 7. The application interface is pretty good and we recently got couple of those Samsung devices to test our applications and it does do a good job. No doubt this current version of OS do not provide support for SQL-CE DB or multi-tasking or even copy & paste. But .net provides pretty good infrastructure to concoct a rudimentary in-memory db for our case. Other things would have been really useful for what we do. Despite these deficiencies I think, this is a pretty good OS and good UI from MS.
    • What is the best practice for writing a cross-platform smartphone application?

      I understand that an app will need a different front-end playing to the strengths of each platform. But one of the advantages of the model-view-controller [] or multitier [] pattern is supposed to be that that platform-specific front-ends can share one generic back-end containing all the business logic. But it appears that the runtime environments don't share support for popular programming languages that could be used for the back-e

      • Android supports C++ too, so your best bet is to develop the core in C++, with java and obj-c frontends for Android and iPhone, and just pretend that the MS platform doesn't exist.

        Or go mad with #define trickery to make your C++ code compile under CLI

        • Or go mad with #define trickery to make your C++ code compile under CLI

          I'm interested. Can you recommend a web page that describes how to set up a suitable header file to make a single C++ translation unit compile in /clr:safe and unmanaged modes?

          • I don't know if there's anything out there already, but I'd've thought it'd be possible with lots of #define insanity - basically #define around all the differences between the languages and end up writing in effectively a higher level language that abstracts down into the right language for a particular platform.

            (So you'd still have to rewrite most of your existing code to fit your new syntax, but once that was done, you'd have code that could be compiled in multiple languages)

            The code would end up ugly as

  • by Wovel ( 964431 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:56AM (#32988636) Homepage

    They will put it in a drawer and keep using their iPhones.

  • There will go straight to ebay and the money from the sale used to buy android terminals :-)

  • by DG ( 989 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:59AM (#32988660) Homepage Journal

    One of the perks of working for an auto company is the ability to lease a car at a drastically reduced rate. And once you reach a certain salary level, the auto company "pays" the lease so the car is effectively free.

    There are controls - Chrysler, for example, wouldn't give employees Vipers or Prowlers - but there was a pretty broad selection of cars to choose from.

    Except for a period in the late 90s/early oughts where the only GM company car was the Pontiac Aztek.

    I'd drive past their plants/offices in Detroit and the employee parking lot was solid Azteks.



    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by SonnyDog09 ( 1500475 )
      Those upper level auto employees are "evaluating" the vehicles, so that doesn't count as part of their compensation. They don't pay tax on the value of the vehicle, because they are "evaluating" it. Of course, when I was at Ford, the big shots were all "evaluating" Jags and Land Rovers, while lesser mortals got to evaluate Tauruses. If the company was really mad at you, you got to "evaluate" a lime green Escort.
    • Pontiac Aztek []

      Barfy McBarfson, Batman! That looks like someone glued a Prius onto a Hilux.
      • by DG ( 989 )

        You should see one in pea green....

        A puke-green Aztek is pretty much the perfect storm of automobile ugly.


  • by ClaraBow ( 212734 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:00AM (#32988676)
    I'm sure employees aren't going to use the phone without service, and if MS is going to pay for all of their service plans, it's going to cost them quite a bit!
    • They'd be unlocked phones, though, so presumably people could just stick the SIM from their existing phone into it.

      (At which point the phone's death claws grab hold of the SIM never to let it go again! Mwahahaaha!)

      • Right, but then Microsoft's corporate partners would throw a decoupling of service and hardware exception and MS'd have to send out a bunch of spokespeople to reassure T-Mo and the rest that no, Microsoft isn't about to advocate people buying phones off-contract.

  • by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:04AM (#32988714)

    A Microsoft spokesman confirmed the move, explaining that the idea is to "thank" employees for all their work, and make sure that they have experience with Windows Phone 7 devices.

    I bet they can't wait to receive this gift.

    • Unless they run paperless offices, or have non-opening windows, there will always be one use for a Windows phone...
  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:08AM (#32988746)
    I can't wait until someone jailbreaks them and comes up with a way of running Android
  • Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:09AM (#32988762)

    So, how can Microsoft guarantee its Windows Phone 7 devices will enjoy broader adoption than the ill-fated Kin? By giving every Microsoft employee a free one, that's how

    I'm sorry but this is a stupid statement and a stupid article. Apple gives a large number of it's employees an iPhone and Google gives a large number of its an Android phone. It's call "eating your own dog food".

    In addition they get a friendly pool of testers who can give them instant feedback (and probably quite detailed given that they'll naturally try to use it with the products they are managing) on the devices in real world situations (such as bugs, issues, integration with web services, exchange support) and can also simulate some scenarios (such large scale remote activation, wipe and locate) far better than a couple of devices in a lab can.

    Finally, if you're a manufacturer of a product, it doesn't look very good if your employees all use your competitors does it? Whenever I've dealt with a Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Apple, HTC or LG rep I've never seen them use anything but their own phones and I'd be concerned about the statement they are making if they did.

    • It's call "eating your own dog food".

      It's boggling to me that this seems to have gone over the head of most of the people responding to this article.

      In addition to everything you said being true, they're also giving their phone to (mostly) a bunch of developers. It wouldn't surprise me if some of them end up writing (as hobby/side projects) whatever key apps are available for Android/iPhone that Windows phone doesn't have -- and I assume there are a lot of them.

    • by ukyoCE ( 106879 )

      It certainly makes sense as a company to do this.

      It's only funny because unlike Google and Apple's devices, no one wants a W7 phone. Not even for free.

  • Hah! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Diabolus Advocatus ( 1067604 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:09AM (#32988764)
    Even to its own employees Microsoft has to give its new phone away ;)
  • Oblig (Score:4, Funny)

    by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:12AM (#32988786)
    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if 90,000 voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
  • This is a great move by Microsoft. They are getting the phone exposure while giving employees incentive. Plus this is great PR for Microsoft on the employee side and on the public image side.
  • by JakFrost ( 139885 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:20AM (#32988864)

    I've been using this so-called OS for a while and I am quite positive that when Microsoft made the move from the unstable, bluescreening, freezing, and crashing Windows 95/98/ME 16-bit kernel to the stable Windows NT 3.51/4.0/XP/2000 32-bit kernel they had to do something with the 16-bit operating system developers so they made them all work on Windows Mobile! This is the only logical explanation as to why Windows Mobile sucks so bad, freezes so often, crashes every week, and manages to screw up my phone ever few months on its own corrupting all data... for the last three Windows Mobile phones that I owned. All builds of Windows Mobile 6.5.5 are so horrible from one to another with major changes to the GUI and lack of stability that I have had to downgrade my phone back to 6.5.0 to get some stability and usefulness out of the phone.

    Windows Mobile 7 is now made incompatible with 6.5 and earlier versions just sounds like Microsoft is trying to push OS/2 on people by calling it better than Windows 3.11 without the compatibility shims.

    I'm just looking for a new Google Android based phone to come out on a CDMA (US - Sprint, Verizon) network that has GSM capabilities with a SIM card and a full-size keyboard, such as the HTC Touch Pro 2 that I currently have to use and endure the Windows Mobile crap. Once that is out I'm ditching Windows Mobile forever!

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:21AM (#32988882)
    If a MS employee leaves his MS phone prototype in a bar and no blogger considers it even worth stealing, does it make a ring?
  • Google has just announced it will be giving away a free DROID system to any person who uses google.

    Take that MS!

  • by rinoid ( 451982 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:29AM (#32988974)

    But why is this news? I mean, go figure, a company gives it's own employees a device it makes in house. Does this warrant discussion at /.?

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:29AM (#32988986)
    Seriously call your union reps. No one should be treated in this way in a modern workplace.
  • Apple gave away the original IPhone and Google did so as well.

    I'm sure the other phone makers have similar employee incentives.

    How exactly is this news? Or some sought of new idea by MSFT?

  • This is an awesome business strategy - with this many Microsoft workers seeing how flawed this device is will hopefully prevent future... ehh who am I kidding... they are there for the paychecks... not to create quality products.
  • Microsoft reports over 90,000 preorders already for its new forthcoming Windows Phone 7.

  • Didn't Microsoft do this with their Zune's a year or two ago? I seem to recall a blog from a MS employee of how everyone went back to their iPods. I'm sure this will be the same result.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?