Could there be such a thing as a free Microsoft lunch?

Summary:Taking a page out of Google's book, Microsoft is starting up free bus service for its employees between its Redmond, Wash., company headquarters and Seattle (among a handful of other local destinations). Could free lunches for all Softies be next?

Taking a page out of Google's book, Microsoft is starting up free bus service for its employees between its Redmond, Wash., company headquarters and Seattle (among a handful of other local destinations).

As a dedicated bus rider myself, I applaud the move -- and need to think of some way to finagle a free ride next time I'm out there. (Just kidding, bus monitors!) I'm perfectly happy riding the 545 between Seattle and Redmond and avoiding the absolutely awful traffic, as I've done many a time. But a wifi-enabled express bus full of Softies sounds pretty sweet to this reporter/blogger, too....

(Speaking of traffic and apropos of nothing: Microsoft has decided to license back from its partner Inrix a traffic-monitoring service that Microsoft plans to integrate into MSN and Live Local Search in some way later this year.)

Some Microsoft employees are holding out hope that Microsoft might opt to emulate another Google perk: The free, gourmet-catered lunch. Again, speaking from personal experience here -- having eaten in both a Microsoft cafeteria (or three) and the Google buffet line in the New York City Googleplex -- I have to say that a free lunch is a more palatable way to make sure your employees stay chained to their desks for the longest possible time. It doesn't sound like the Microsoft brass is sold on the idea of free filet mignon, though....

Let's see what additional announcements, if any, the Microsoft company meeting might bring. I'm sure Mini-Microsoft will tell (almost) all.

Topics: Microsoft, Google

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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