Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, is world-renowned for playing it cool under pressure (and dancing for developers), and he played it cool when faced with an iPhone-wielding employee this week.

The company held a meeting in Seattle yesterday to preview some of the things it is working on, proferring free beer for stressed-out employees. There was even a ceremonial entrance by the CEO, and that’s when the moment happened.

As he entered the room, a Microsoft employee tried to take a picture of Ballmer – using an iPhone…

The CEO’s reaction was calm in the circumstances. He grabbed the device from out the hapless employee’s hand, made some remarks which generated an outbreak of boos from assembled employees, threw the iPhone to the floor and mimicked stamping on it…

We’re not 100 per cent sure if this wasn’t a staged stunt, of course, given the admiration with which Microsoft views its Apple smartphone challenger.

Later on when making his presentation on stage he referred to the incident again and glanced at the iPhone-using Microsoft employee. Who we hope has a pleasant day at work today.

Twittering about the incident, one employee pointed out, "you just don’t pick up the CEO of Chevy in a BMW."

Which pretty much sums up this incident. Also interesting is news today the Zune HD won’t ship in Europe before Christmas, leaving Europe open for Apple’s iPod, which already boasts 69 per cent UK market share.

via Engadget

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