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Microsoft R&D Burgled: Only Apple Products Stolen

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  • Brandnames (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arose (644256) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:48PM (#42520077)
    Doesn't that make you feel all better about paying the premium for Tide [nymag.com]^H^H^H^HApple?
    • Re:Brandnames (Score:4, Informative)

      by arose (644256) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:50PM (#42520121)
      Disregard the crappy generic link, here's the real Tide [nymag.com].
    • Whether you think Apple products are "better", they're certainly functionally *different* from the generic counterparts.
      • Re:Brandnames (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dan828 (753380) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:30PM (#42521731)
        And like any thief, these people knew that they'd be able to sell the Apple products for better prices than anything else. Wanting to limit their exposure, and get the most money for their risks, of course they picked the stuff that they could turn over faster and for more money. It doesn't say anything about what stuff is better, just what sells for more.
        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          While this is true, same as the most stolen car is the Camry because the parts are worth more than the car, you DO have to admit that its pretty funny that even a thief wouldn't touch Win 8 or Surface. Maybe they could turn that into a marketing slogan? "Afraid of data theft? Use Win 8, its so nasty even thieves won't take it!"
          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @05:51PM (#42524561)

            One of the funniest jokes I ever heard was when the first windows phone came out: They said they hated it so much, they went to a store and left the phone on the passenger seat of their car with the window rolled down. When they came back... there was another windows phone next to it.

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            you DO have to admit that its pretty funny that even a thief wouldn't touch Win 8 or Surface

            That's not true. Identity thieves love Windows.

        • by dudpixel (1429789)

          It doesn't say anything about what stuff is better, just what sells for more.

          ...which has a lot to do with what the general public thinks about what stuff is better...

          • by arose (644256)
            And back we go to Tide and the "thinking" the "general public" (actually wide target demographic) presents to justify their emotional product selection.
            • by dudpixel (1429789)

              I'm not sure what your post meant - I didn't really understand it, but I just wanted to clarify that I was saying that people will generally pay more for something that they perceive is of greater value.

              The funny thing is that it sometimes works the other way, people perceive something as being more valuable if the sale price is higher, but this isn't what I was originally getting at.

  • makes sense (Score:5, Funny)

    by netwarerip (2221204) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:49PM (#42520093)
    They were likely the only things of value in the building.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Seriously? Modded "insightful". God damnit I hate this place now.

    • by Sez Zero (586611) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:30PM (#42520709) Journal
      "And nothing of value was lost", said everyone at the Microsoft R&D center.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Seems like the thieves were better judge of value.
      • Re:makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:16PM (#42521491)

        "And nothing of value was lost", said everyone at the Microsoft R&D center.

        Yep. Regardless of how you feel about one company or another, an unreleased product from company A is almost certainly more valuable than a commonly available product from company B. My suspicion would be that the thieves were probably employees or contractors at the MS site (cleaning or other cheap labor crew or some such) and knew they could get a quick buck for the Apple products. They probably didn't even know what some of the other stuff was. Asserting the apple products were selected because of their superiority is about as silly as the tongue in cheek assertion that Steve Jobs is really responsible for NY Crime rates due to the theft of Apple products.

        Also, if you follow the news here at all you'll see that missing development products from large companies attract great attention from law enforcement. Missing ipads get filed away as a report somewhere and if they happen to catch the guy, then everyone is happy. If not, MS is out, what maybe $2k that they can now write off? What missing ipads don't get are federally funded investigations.

      • by GreatDrok (684119) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @02:52PM (#42522109) Journal

        '"And nothing of value was lost", said everyone at the Microsoft R&D center.'

        I don't know, the loss of valuable prototype gear is pretty bad. Good job they can just go back to their prototyping organisation (colloquially known as 'Apple Inc') and get some more. Without these important devices, Microsoft wouldn't know what to do next with their production gear.

    • They were likely the only things of value in the building.

      Correction: They were the only things of value that were highly visible, lightweight, and easily gathered and thrown in a car in a few minutes. You can bet there were also computers there. LCD monitors, boxes, etc., could all be dismantled and sold off for parts. The people who worked there likely also had personal electronics there -- laptops, cameras, mp3 players. And if it's anything like most corporate buildings, there were at least a few giant LCD/plasma screens in the lobby or in the meeting rooms, as

    • Re:makes sense (Score:4, Insightful)

      by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @03:54PM (#42523017)

      They were likely the only things of value in the building.

      I would think the research there is valuable. It however isn't easily sold on the street. It's like breaking into a mansion and stealing the silverware and ignoring the priceless art on the walls.

  • Slashdot (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:49PM (#42520101)

    Yesterday's news [regmedia.co.uk] tomorrow :P

    • by phrostie (121428)

      background audio taken the theft:

      "It’s got to ask uss a question, my preciouss, yes, yess, yess. Jusst one more question to guess, yes, yess.”

    • Oh no, a news aggregate site isn't getting trivial bits of tech-world news out to the public immediately! This story has such impact on my life, I absolutely needed to know about it yesterday!
  • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:51PM (#42520141) Homepage Journal

    It was an R&D center for making Apple software, so there probably were no Surface tables around...

    But it would be extremely funny if there were left out in the open for all to see.

    • by Cinder6 (894572) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:11PM (#42520417)

      It's entirely possible that a Surface tablet was around to compare/contrast how the software runs on the different platforms.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:13PM (#42520441)

      It was an R&D center for making Apple software, so there probably were no Surface tables around...

      But it would be extremely funny if there were left out in the open for all to see.

      Actually, according to the article... Microsoft's phones and tablets were still there. They did find 5 iPads missing, though.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:22PM (#42520583)

      It was an R&D center for making Apple software, so there probably were no Surface tables around...

      Unlikely. Microsoft sports a very aggressive corporate culture where if you don't use Microsoft for everything, you're "not a team player." This is the company that watched its entire mail service (Hotmail) implode because the edict from on high was they had to use IIS exclusively. It simply couldn't handle the load, regardless of the number of servers and load balancers they threw on... with much chagrin they rolled back to Apache. Linux is used on print servers internally to this day, though it's a dirty secret. They may have had iPads there for development work, but you can bet many of those developers also had Surface tablets because they have to develop for those as well.

      Considering how few of them have sold so far, it's safe to say the product launch, er, exploded on the launch pad. But Microsoft, being Microsoft, will still demand their employees use them or else. I'm sure they'd still be demanding their employees avoid ipods and use Zunes, but we all know what happened there. :)

      • by rsborg (111459)

        Unlikely. Microsoft sports a very aggressive corporate culture where if you don't use Microsoft for everything, you're "not a team player." [snip] They may have had iPads there for development work, but you can bet many of those developers also had Surface tablets because they have to develop for those as well.

        This is bullshit. Many folks I know personally at Microsoft sport Macbook Pros (running Windows mostly). Not sure about the phone thing, but if it runs Windows, it's definitely kosher.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          This is bullshit. Many folks I know personally at Microsoft sport Macbook Pros (running Windows mostly). Not sure about the phone thing, but if it runs Windows, it's definitely kosher.

          *facepalm* *headdesk* *strangles self with mouse cord*

          • This is bullshit. Many folks I know personally at Microsoft sport Macbook Pros (running Windows mostly). Not sure about the phone thing, but if it runs Windows, it's definitely kosher.

            *facepalm* *headdesk* *strangles self with mouse cord*

            You know when I was a kid I personified my computer after I learned it has AI. I still think of it as a crude primptive set of conciousness. Forcing Windows on a Mac is like .... like watching an animal being tortured and shriveling in pain.

            I know it is not likely that and is irritational to think that but it feels wrong on so many levels. That or like putting ketchup and how grade $80 steak at Ruths & Christophers.

        • iPads don't run Windows. One of the suspected the Kin took 18 months to develop a new phone instead of the projected 6 months was that Danger used Java. The newly bought out Danger developers were ordered to use WindowsCE which would take much longer.
      • Linux is used on print servers internally to this day,

        Id be interested to know why that would be a necessity; ive seen Windows servers handling a pretty large number of printers.

      • While MS as a company is big about dogfooding (as every company should be) they don't force employees to use particular product. Of course when you get a new phone as Christmas bonus or something it will be a Windows Phone but this is different from what you describe.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It was an R&D center for making Apple software, so there probably were no Surface tables around...

        Unlikely. Microsoft sports a very aggressive corporate culture where if you don't use Microsoft for everything, you're "not a team player."

        As an employee, I can tell you that isn't even remotely true. The one and only case where I've heard any pressure happening about use of Microsoft products in field sales and support.

      • Microsoft sports a very aggressive corporate culture where if you don't use Microsoft for everything, you're "not a team player."

        Bullshit. You see iPhones and MacBooks aplenty, and quite a few Android phones as well, by just walking through the corridors of any office building on MS campus.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by dvNull (235982)

        Microsoft sports a very aggressive corporate culture where if you don't use Microsoft for everything, you're "not a team player."

        This is not true. I know many people @ Microsoft who use iphones. I even know a few who dual boot linux on their laptops or who have macs.

        Linux is used on print servers internally to this day, though it's a dirty secret.

        This is not true either.

      • by Eskarel (565631)

        Microsoft are big on dogfooding, as they should be. If the people who make a product aren't using it then they aren't doing their job. I don't mean that using the product is part of their job, but if you make Windows Phones and you don't want to use that phone then you've not made the phone you should have. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't explore your competitors products, but the reason that most of the very best software written tends to be things like compilers and IDEs is because the people who wri

      • Unlikely. Microsoft sports a very aggressive corporate culture where if you don't use Microsoft for everything, you're "not a team player."

        This would be a good idea if Microsoft would listen to the feedback from the employees. Think about how fucked up your processes are when the CEO himself complains and nothing changes: http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/2008/06/24/full-text-an-epic-bill-gates-e-mail-rant/ [seattlepi.com]

        Just batshit insane to have a culture of eating their own dog food when they will not listen to their own dogs talking about improvements.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:55PM (#42521091) Journal

      I wonder if the thieves were at all cautious about stealing MS hardware from MS because of how tightly some tech companies are known to control pre-release or dev versions of hardware?

      Most likely, the fact that it's easier and quicker to flip stolen iDevices for cash was the reason; but I know that I'd be a bit nervous about stealing a contemporary 'appliance' type device in a situation where it might be some kind of specially blessed dev unit. Modern hardware has at least 3-4 globally unique numbers burned in, and tends to call home frequently, and it wouldn't be a big surprise if dev gear(for reasons of loss prevention or UX testing) is stuffed to the gills with analysis and reporting software...

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @12:55PM (#42520187) Homepage Journal

    This too closely fits the decades-old stereotype that MS just steals Apple's ideas as their "R&D" M.O.

    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:14PM (#42520475)

      The best Onion stories are the ones that have a hint of truth to them. Unfortunately, some [theonion.com] end up having a bit too much truth in them and later come to pass.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by cold fjord (826450)

        Do you get depressed seeing Obama double down on that?

      • by ajlitt (19055)

        For a few years now you've been able to buy a razor with five blades and two lotion strips. I'm not sure if one of them lathers, but the handle does vibrate to add an element of danger.

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        The best Onion stories are the ones that have a hint of truth to them. Unfortunately, some [theonion.com] end up having a bit too much truth in them and later come to pass.

        On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.

        How can you read that and not love the Onion. (For those not following along at home, it was published in January 2001 and also predicted a war in the Gulf.)

        • by Patch86 (1465427)

          My jaw actually dropped when I reached that bit. Seriously, if The Onion has access to a time machine they should really tell someone, and not just keep it secret for the purpose of amusing internet satire.

      • I'd like to know who at theonion has a crystal ball and where they got it from. If that was actually written in Jan of 2001...that's amazing.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It was information what was stolen, not the devices.

    Now the thief can sell for analytics and bloggers the information what kind software Microsoft is cooking for Apple devices.

    Like think about screenshots and actual apps of MS Office for iPad.... THAT IS MONEY! Not the devices but the SOFTWARE.

    • Now the thief can sell for analytics and bloggers the information what kind software Microsoft is cooking for Apple devices.

      Who cares? Must be worth about 50c. They'll do far better out of selling the iPads.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I seem to remember a Melissa Gates interview where she stated that her kids were not allowed Apple devices. They would be likely to have access to their father's keys, and they would have no need to steal any Microsoft devices.

  • by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:04PM (#42520319)

    When someone breaks into your R & D shop and the only thing they see of value is someone else's gear.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Or more likley this was done by someone who had a chip on their shoulder againt microsoft and figured this would give them some bad press.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        I think you are using "more likely" incorrectly.
    • It was surely an inside job. Maybe they thought it wouldn't be as bad for their co-workers if they only stole the Apple stuff.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        It was surely an inside job. Maybe they thought it wouldn't be as bad for their co-workers if they only stole the Apple stuff.

        Of course it was an inside job, you twit, the Apple stuff was stolen from a R&D building.

    • by asdf7890 (1518587)
      If they had limited carrying capacity then it'll have come down to known/unknown factors. They'd have some knowledge of how to identify iDevoce versions (as they are likely to be retail units) and know the back-o-lorry market value for the iPads with some degree of accuracy so they'd know what they were walking away with. The surface units they'd know less about in those regards: it is possible that they are pre-production units or otherwise easily identifed as from there rather than the retail channel, whi
  • id do well to make my next mp3 player a zune?

  • Microsoft R&D Ballmered.: Only Apple Products thrown out the window.

    • by Tablizer (95088)

      Ballmer asked R&D to make a translucent minimalist-style Apple chair.....with a parachute.

  • "They're stealing our ship!"
    "Bloody pirates!"

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:21PM (#42520567) Homepage Journal

    The thieves wanted to rob Apple, but they made the mistake of using Apple Maps to find it.

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Tuesday January 08, 2013 @01:32PM (#42520733) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft prototypes can't easily be sold. I see the obvious joke that the Microsoft prototypes were not of value, but in a sense, if they can't be sold, then that is true.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Just a guess, but Microsoft probably had Microsoft gear in there for working on, as well as just prototypes. If they're anything like Microsoft employees I know, they'll be following the company orthodoxy of using 100% Windows, except where it is unavoidable.

      So those thieves probably walked past HP Elitebooks at about $1000 a pop, or touch-enabled Thinkpad at $1500, and picked up the $500 iPads instead. That's still pretty embarrassing.

  • Maybe it was totally random- à la Steve Jobs [networkworld.com]?
  • from: andnothingofvaluewaslost

    to: andeverythingofvaluewaslost

  • I thought Apple was Microsoft Research.

  • Microsoft was conducting research into the security of their devices versus Apple's. These findings concusively show that your data is more likely to be stolen on an Apple device. Therefore, Microsoft products are more secure.

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