In another sign of the new Microsoft, Lifehacker just profiled a well-known Microsoft researcher, Danah Boyd, in which she discussed all the tech tools she uses every day, and almost none of them was made by Microsoft.
As part of this profile, Lifehacker's Andy Orin asked her about the tech she uses for her job(s).
What jumped out was this:
Current mobile device: My primary phone is an iPhone, but I despise the device. I only use it because it's how I can test out apps in development. I really really really miss my Sidekick. Current computer: I have two laptops—one is a MacBook Air and the other is a Lenovo.
Even a few short years ago, a Microsoft employee wouldn't go around publicly admitted that they loved non-Microsoft tools. We know they quietly used them because someone posted a question on Quoraasking them about it in 2012 (long before Steve Ballmer retired).
"I worked at Microsoft, and yes. They use Google, they use Macs, they use many competitors' products," David Gómez-Rosado, replied.
Another Microsoft employee, Asif Khan, agreed, saying, "In Redmond, I see people carrying MacBooks and iPhones but I think they are personal devices (BYOD). Microsoft provides you a Windows laptop (you get a budget and choose whatever you want). You are also reimbursed for purchasing a Windows phone (you can use an iPhone but you pay for it)."
But it has only been since new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took over a few months ago that 'softies started feeling safe talking about their favorite non-Microsoft tools in public.