Joe Belfiore, the face of Microsoft’s Windows Phone, has today posted a photo from his holiday in Japan and, shockingly, it’s come from an iPhone. There’s an even split in the responses to Belfiore’s tweet between those impressed by his new blond look and the people raising an eyebrow at his smartphone choice. But, honestly, the truth is that it would be weird if Belfiore wasn’t using an iPhone.
Firstly, the man’s taking a year-long hiatus from his day job, and there’s no way he could ever feel like he was off duty if he was running around using devices and software that he could help change and refine. So Windows 10 Mobile, which is the latest reboot of the grand Windows Phone project that Belfiore has been heading up for many years now, simply had to be left behind. Faced with the resulting choice between an iPhone or Android device, he could have opted for one of the many Google-powered smartphones out there, but the iPhone is arguably a cozier and more familiar landing spot for a Windows Phone user — especially now that the Word Flow keyboard is coming to iOS.
Under Steve Ballmer’s leadership, Microsoft was a place where employees had to hide their iPhones, but the new, more enlightened company under Satya Nadella has declared itself device-agnostic. Many of Microsoft’s most compelling apps are now on the iPhone, whether we’re talking about its mobile Office suite or its series of smart acquisitions like Wunderlist and Acompli (now known as Outlook).
Most importantly, though, to compete with the iPhone, Microsoft’s mobile chief needs to know how the damn thing works and what makes it so attractive to so many. So let’s not be outraged by Belfiore’s repeated use of the iPhone. Surely the new hairdo provides enough talking points by itself.