Ballmer Confiscates iPhone at Microsoft Annual Meeting

It's already known that the Gates family is i-deprived, unable to get iPhones or iPods. It's also known that iPods aren't welcome on Microsoft's campus. Note to Microsoft employees: don't try to take a picture of CEO Steve Ballmer with an iPhone.

It was Microsoft's annual private company meeting at Seattle's Safeco Field on Thursday. Besides previews of Bing 2.0 and Project Natal, there was a poor Microsoft peon who decided to take a photo of CEO Steve Ballmer. Not bad, in essence, except he tried to use his iPhone.

Naughty, naughty, thought Steve. As tweeted by witnesses, Ballmer grabbed the phone, but was decently gentle with it. Hopefully, the owner had a case, as more detailed reports indicated Ballmer placed it on the ground and pretended to stomp on it. There were also boos, but it's unclear if the boos were because the owner had an iPhone in the first place (more likely), or because Ballmer took it from the guy.

Later, during his presentation, Ballmer made sure that people knew he hadn't forgotten the incident, as he teased the person again.

Yes, this was easily made a joke of, but we wonder what a survey of the smartphones that Microsoft employees carry would show. Our guess would be that the iPhone would outnumber Windows Mobile phones significantly, at least among personal devices, and particularly among AT&T devices.