employees

Team members of the Xbox One division might just find a special gift under their trees this holiday season – a special white edition of Microsoft’s latest gaming console.

An image was leaked on Reddit by user Kinect10DLL and showcases a white Xbox One unit with the inscription “I MADE THIS” engraved on the front. Xbox team members will also receive all one player launch titles, a year of Xbox live (something you imagine wouldn't be hard to obtain for someone working on the Xbox team), and a special Live achievement.

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AT&T has big plans for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

It looks like once again AT&T in the United States will be taking the helm for Windows Phone 8 and even Windows 8 come October and November. Windows Phone Central has now confirmed information about AT&Ts upcoming plans, including employee-training dates for the big launch. The info comes via two known and trusted sources who wish to remain anonymous to the public.

First up are Windows 8 tablets.  With Lenovo’s ThinkPad 2 officially having AT&T’s LTE on board, it’s not too much of a surprise that the mobile carrier will be looking to sell the tablets in their store direct to customers. We were quoted the $799 price-tag by Lenovo last week for the 10.1” tablet and we’re confident that you will be able to pick one up there come October 26th.

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Santa's here - free gifts for everyone

Microsoft has announced at an internal event held in Seattle that employees at the company will be receiving a hardware package which includes a PC refresh, Surface tablet and Windows Phone. GeekWire reports the company is looking to accelerate the refresh cycle for Employee workstations to take full advantage of Windows 8. 

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Today, Microsoft threw the doors open to their Freehold, NJ store marking yet another feather in the growing chain's cap. While we're always excited to see another Store open up, especially on the East coast, what makes this opening just a tad hilarious is the curious Apple employees who evidently showed up.

As it is well known, Microsoft has been opening their stores wherever Apple has theirs (including our own location) and perhaps setting up for some interesting drama. In this case, reader Trav sent us the above photo of the brave Apple employees who were checking the competition.

Hey, we don't begrudge Apple and we more than welcome them to the fold even if for just a visit. 

Thanks, Trav, for the tip

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We've heard numerous times that the Nokia Lumia 900 will be a "hero" device for AT&T, a term that is unfamiliar for many who are not in the business of smartphones. Here, the usage refers to AT&T promoting the Lumia 900 on the level of the Apple iPhone meaning we should expect a very intensive media campaign for the flagship Nokia device and it taking center stage on one of the largest carriers in the US.

One way to do that is to put the phone in the hands of those on the front lines -- the sales reps at the AT&T stores. More information has rolled in over the last few hours since we broke the April 9th street date for the 900. First, we know that the phones started arriving at AT&T stores over the last two days and that employee training on the Windows Phone OS (and this specific hardware) will take place on March 26th, April 6th and 7th at those outlets.

Next is the big news: AT&T has designated the Nokia Lumia 900 for 'Company Use' meaning all Front Seller employees are eligible to receive the phone at no cost. The trade off is though is that employees have to turn in their current 'Company Use' phones, namely the iPhone and certain Android devices.

You read that right: Nokia is paying, we hear up to $25 million, for AT&T employees to exclusively use the Lumia 900 instead of the iPhone and Android. Nokia is expecting more than 80% of employees to be using their flagship Windows Phone for participation in the CU program (employees can opt to use any phone they want at a discount, but CU phones are provided for free), which should go a long way in convincing those employees the merits of the OS, resulting in positive word of mouth and high sales.

So why is AT&T so keen on promoting Windows Phone, specifically the Nokia Lumia 900? Sure, there is money involved but in addition but we're told that the feeling at AT&T is that the company is trying to get away from being "the iPhone carrier" and are looking to differentiate their lineup from their competition. The Lumia 900 is a device they can get behind to do that -- not just because of the financial incentive, but because this phone represents a real chance for the fledgling OS to shine. That should sit well with many of you who are worried about the fate of Microsoft's mobile OS.

Oh and before we close out, we're also told that the HTC TITAN and Samsung Focus S are to be put on the End of Life (EOL) list, meaning their future availability will be phased out from current inventory without being replenished. (Well, there had to be some bad news, right?)

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This is just an interesting little tid-bit but we just got word that Microsoft employees can now get their phones updated to "Mango" 7720 starting today.

We were curious as to how this would be done i.e. if it is a similar process to how devs can now upgrade via Zune Desktop or do they just go to some guy's office, line up with their phones and have it flashed?

Turns out, it's actually closer to the latter part! Employees can take their phone to the Device Lab on the Bellevue campus and have it flashed to the finalized, RTM version of "Mango". That's pretty cool. So any of our readers want to chime in if they've experienced this?

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Fun Twitter day for rumors and Windows Phone 7 news as it looks like two big fish have bought into the next generation Microsoft OS.

The first, well, is obvious. Microsoft evidently believes in their new mobile system so much, they are giving all 90,000 employees a free phone. Nothing like that to get your own employees on board, eh?

It's even better news for MS employees, as reportedly their boss will no longer pay for their phone's service plan if it is a non-Microsoft OS (e.g. Blackberry, iPhone, WebOS), at least according to 'Business Insider'. So one hand taketh, the other giveth.

The second is less confirmed, but comes from a trusted source of a trusted source--namely Michael Gartenberg, who is a heavy when it comes to the tech world and writing on it. According to his inside person, AT&T is poised to get "8 million WP7 devices".

What exactly that means is hard to say--long term trend? Single device or multiple? We're going with the obvious and betting that they will have two maybe three Windows Phone 7 launches within a short period and combined, they expect to order 8 million.

Regardless of the details, if true, that is still a heck of a huge number to order. Now, will they sell?

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