Microsoft's Marini leaves company over Nokia leak

Joe Marini, a principal programme manager for Windows Phone at Microsoft, has been fired over comments he made on Twitter regarding Nokia's upcoming Microsoft-powered handset.

Marini was responsible for the first confirmed details on the as-yet unnamed Windows Phone 7.5 device which represents Nokia's first attempt at competing on a level playing field following years of devices running its homebrew operating systems.

"I just got a chance to try out one of the slickest looking Nokia phones I have ever seen," Marini posted to his followers. "Soon, you will too!"

The initial hint of hardware finalisation was followed by confirmation that the device isn't the superphone many were expecting from the ailing Finnish firm's Windows Phone début device. "Overall, I would say an 8," Marini scored the device, commenting on the handset's "soild feel, good camera, responsive UI, and nice little touches on the body construction."

The two docked marks? "The camera was good, but I didn't have optimal lighting," Marini complained. "I'd like a larger screen, too."

The fact that Microsoft and Nokia are collaborating on Windows Phone handsets is no secret, of course, but both companies are interested in keeping details of the device under wraps until its official launch. Apparently, nobody thought to tell Marini that when he was handed a prototype - and that oversight has cost him his job.

According to GeekWire, Marini is no longer a Microsoft employee. While his Twitter profile still claims otherwise, Marini hasn't used the microblogging service since the 19th of September.

A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed to thinq_ that Marini is no longer a Microsoft employee, but declined to comment on the reasons for his departure.

With Microsoft's social media policy expressly forbidding employees from disclosing confidential information, it seems likely that Marini's comments were one step too far. We can't help but wonder, however, if he would still be employed had he given the device 10 out of 10.