Microsoft giving employees free Surface, Windows Phone 8, new PC

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Christmas will be coming early this year for more than 94,000 Microsoft employees. The company is reportedly giving full-time staffers a technology package that includes a free Surface tablet, new work computers and Windows Phone 8 devices to use at home and work. The handset upgrade is similar to what Microsoft did when Windows Phone 7 first hit the market, according to GeekWire.

Redmond typically has a three-year refresh cycle on employee work computers but that’s being accelerated this time around in order to get everyone up and running on Windows 8. Employees will be able to choose between a desktop, laptop, Ultrabook or a tablet for pure work purposes.

As with the Windows Phone 8 offer, all full-time employees will be given a Surface tablet for use at work and at home. We are hearing that it’s only the Surface RT model but either way, free is free.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer allegedly announced the package during an internal meeting so it’s not likely that we will see any PR directly from Microsoft. Some employees have, however, taken to Twitter to express their happiness and appreciation for the free gifts. One tweet compared Ballmer to Oprah Winfrey, a television personality known for her generous gifts to audience members and complete strangers.

The gifts are certainly a nice gesture for such a large company. In comparison, Apple reportedly only offers full-time employees discounts on regularly-priced merchandise - no free iPads or iPhones for them.

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