Microsoft employees start collecting their free Surface RTs

Microsoft employees start collecting their free Surface RTs

Summary: Microsoft employees are taking delivery of their promised free Surface RT devices, starting this week.


Back at the Microsoft company meeting in September, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer played Santa early, promising that all Microsoft employees would get Surface RT tablet/PCs and Windows Phone 8 devices.


As reported by Geekwire, the word was all full-time direct, employees (a.k.a. Blue Badges/FTEs) would get a Surface RT machine for use at work and home. The announcement was a real morale booster (based on a few tweets I saw escape the supposedly tweet-free Key Arena where the company meeting was held).

Today, December 12, is the date that employees could begin collecting their Surface RTs, as several employees noted via Twitter today.

I've heard from my contacts that employees in 12 countries with Microsoft offices are part of the inital rollout. The 12: United States, Canada, U.K., Germany, France, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Austria, Ireland, Puerto Rico and New Zealand. Other offices will get their devices in secondary phases. The goal supposedly is to make sure the majority of employees will have their Surfaces in time for Christmas.

The give-away is smart on Microsoft's part. Who better than one's employees to show off the latest shiny toy at family get-togethers over the holidays? (I know I showed mine off to a few interested Apple and Android devotees in my family at Thanksgiving.) One-on-one evangelism could help spur demand.

Microsoft also is counting on a wider distribution channel to help generate more demand, as well. On December 11, Microsoft announced plans to distribute Surface RTs via Staples (as of today) and Best Buy starting this weekend. Microsoft plans to make Surfaces available in retail stores in other countries, which company officials declined to name, as well.

Microsoft also promised all full-timers a free Windows Phone 8 device. Employee phone distribution happened earlier this fall.

Topics: Microsoft Surface, Microsoft, Tablets, PCs


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Microsoft employees start collecting their free Surface RTs

    Those are some lucky employees. The company is giving them a $500 gift for free. Like you said, who better to brag about it then the employees themselves but it also has another side. The feedback and suggestions from employees can go straight to the Microsoft Surface group. Its a win win.
    • Free Surface! WOW!

      However, apart form boosting the employee productivity, be aware, employees of Microsoft: if you happened to have partner, who either own an IToy, or would be getting your old one, when you go home either switch off your Surface; or buy her/him Surface. Otherwise your relationship would take an interesting turn.

      Just think about this: with Surface you would not be only able to play games, read what others wrote, or just watch video clips. Instead, you would be doing some really stuff. You would be creating your own content. And there lays the challenge. Hence, do not be selfish.

      Also do not visit your tech blog, as you would be harassed by those, who are yet to own or use the Lamborghini of the merging technology - i.e. Surface.

      And please accept my apologies for the typo - when I wrote iToy, I meant the unhappy Ipad.
      • Getting points for offloading the surplus

        Balmer had to find something to do with all those units that they made and couldn't sell.
        • My thoughts exactly......

          It seems that is the only way Microsoft can increase its shipping numbers....LOL!!!
          linux for me
          • So the user base just went up ten fold

    • Loverock-Davidson what percentage of the Surfaces issued had

      Poor battery life?

      Cracks in the rubber key boards?

      the sticky feeling associated with the key boards?

      Metro flashing tiles you can't turn off

      A Metro mapping program that can't actually locate you home

      I'm sure 90% of them will find theire way onto E-Bay, Craigs list, be used as chairitable donation somewhere......... or if no one will except them they'll go sneek them back to the Co. store for credit.

      PS Loverock the only reason they gave any away was for a tax right off and to claim they have a 90% distrobution of Surface in Redmond.
      Over and Out
      • Do you even own one

        I use mine everyday and have none of those issues. Are you sure you are not talking about yourself and not the Surface.
  • Despite Toddbottom6's jabs... is a good idea and fully in line with MS' philosophy of "eat your own dog food". Maybe MS really should have done that with Zune (or maybe Zune needed a better name).

    And if MS-employees can sell them, that would indicate some demand, which would be good news for MS.
    John L. Ries
    • Dogfooding is a core philosophy in MSFT...

      ... and this obviously applies to hardware as well as software.
  • Installed Base

    So I'm assuming that this will about double the installed base for Surface RTs
  • eBay!

    A quick search of eBay lists 1,091 Microsoft Surfaces for sale. Some as low as $250. What a smashing success.
    • Same eBay returned 10,000+ iPad 4th generation

      Your argument is weak,
      Ram U
    • Same eBay returned 10,000 iPad 4th generation results

      Your argument is weak. I included the url in my previous post. The lowest is $102.50. So what is your point?
      Ram U
      • eBay!

        It's actually over 32,000 for iPad 4s but 31,000 are for accessories. Touché
        • Touche on Rama.Net's part, I agree.

          With the silly posts you people place here, why is it such a bother that Surface is working out better then you hoped?

          I understand you didn't want MS to sell a single one, but the lengths you goto sounds like you may have other issues going on in your lives, If someone liking the Surface gets you so upset.

          I can't say I'm understanding it.
          • To help you understand...

            It's a condition known in psychology as "belief perseverance". You'd likely recognize these people if you met them in public, after only a few minutes. Especially if the environment held any form of stressful situation.

          • I just wanted to show @gribittmep the flawed logic

            I don't say iPad 4th generation is a failure or successful. I also didn't say Surface RT is a success or failue at the same time. I wanted to show that if eBay is the standard or criteria to determine one product's success then we should bring the competing products also.
            Ram U
          • No actually

            You wanted to show how much you hate apple and ipad you HATER!
          • May have other issues

            but I find it funny that you are complaining about the exact same behavior that we see out of Apple haters in regard to anything Apple.
      • The price

        The point is the price the surfaces are selling does not suggesting a very strong demand for newly launched product. In comparison the iPad sales prices are near to fill retail and even Ipad 1 2 and 3 sell for a good price.