http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703455804575057651922457356.html Roughly 10% of Microsoft employees said to be iPhone owners Friday, March 12, 2010 "Microsoft Corp. employees are passionate users of the latest tech toys," Nick Wingfield reports for The Wall Street Journal. "But there is one gadget love that many at the company dare not name: the iPhone." "The device's success is a nagging reminder for Microsoft executives of how the company's own efforts to compete in the mobile business have fallen short in recent years," Wingfield reports. "What is especially painful is that many of Microsoft's own employees are nuts for the device." "The perils of being an iPhone user at Microsoft were on display last September," Wingfield reports. "At an all- company meeting in a Seattle sports stadium, one hapless employee used his iPhone to snap photos of Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. Mr. Ballmer snatched the iPhone out of the employee's hands, placed it on the ground and pretended to stomp on it in front of thousands of Microsoft workers, according to people present." "Despite Mr. Ballmer's theatrics, iPhone users are in plain sight at Microsoft. At the sprawling campus here in a Seattle suburb, workers peck away on their iPhone touch-screens in conference rooms, cafeterias and lobbies," Wingfield reports. "Nearly 10,000 iPhone users were accessing the Microsoft employee email system last year, say two people who heard the estimates from senior Microsoft executives. " Wingfield reports, "Some Microsoft workers take pains to hide their iPhones. While rank-and-file workers tend to use the iPhone openly around peers, some conceal them within sight of more senior executives. One Microsoft worker said he knows several colleagues who try to disguise their iPhones with cases that make them look more like generic handsets." Wingfield reports, "Microsoft isn't uniformly opposed to employees using Apple products, in part because it makes some software and services for them. Apple's Macintosh computers are common in the Microsoft group that makes the Mac version of its Office software. Still, Apple's ascendancy in mobile phones has been tough to stomach."