The other day we had an interesting rumor about the HTC 7 Pro: Sprint was starting pre-orders on December 8th for the new device. As it turns out, we learned that this was for Microsoft peeps only (lucky them). That ties into the "free phones for all Microsoft employees" boast that we heard awhile back and verified recently by Ballmer himself.

Here are some more details of that program just given to Microsoft employees:

Do NOT purchase your Windows Phone 7 device prior to November 18, 2010 or after June 15, 2011 . You will not receive reimbursement for your phone purchase if you have purchased your phone outside of the start or end date of the program. (A preorder may be placed through an authorized channel prior to November 18, but not an actual purchase).

Seems like a fair system: employee picks phone and carrier, pre-orders/purchases through authorized channel, Microsoft reimburses you for the device. No other details were given but it sounds good to us!

Source: Anonymous tip (thanks!)