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

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?

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Google
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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 has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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9 comments
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  • Of course not

    If MS is offering fare-free bus service for its employees, then it's part of their wages. Arguably, it's a sensible move, given that it is likely to reduce the need for parking and may provide some additional incentive for MS-employees to show up to work on time (human nature being what it is).

    TANSTAAFL still holds.
    John L. Ries
  • What did you expect?

    That's just so MS would have something handy to throw them under should the need arise.
    hardedge@...
  • RE: Could there be such a thing as a free Microsoft lunch?

    Once again, Microsoft copies. And not as well. Poor implementation of a good idea. Microsoft has NO talent!
    nomorems
  • RE: Could there be such a thing as a free Microsoft lunch?

    Suck a popular topic! I wonder if it's MS or Mary Jo Do What I Need To Do To Make Money is the cause???
    nomorems
    • waaa huh?

      I know this is the internets and all, but the only response to this comment could be: check your troll script, it seems to be screwed up.

      "him make no speaky senses".
      rtk
  • No free parking in Seattle

    City of Seattle restricts companies from provding "free" parking, and limits parking spaces built. They do NOT want more cars in seattle. They also regulate daily / monthly parking rates, so they are not too low to encourage people to drive to work. But they will leave you stranded when it snows, when the police allow riots (WTO), or beating deaths of it's citizens (martigra).
    mas2227@...
    • Marti who?

      Mardi gras, perhaps?

      From the central repository of all human knowledge, Wikipedia:

      "Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") is the day before Ash Wednesday, and is also called "Shrove Tuesday" or "Pancake Day". It is the final day of Carnival (English IPA: [kaː(ɹ)nɨvəl]). It is a celebration that is held just before the beginning of the Christian liturgical season of Lent.[1]"
      handydan918@...
  • When do perks end.

    Well, you can already get a flexpass from MS for the buses, but setting up your own service might allow more work during the commute. Imagine a 10-way mobile conference :)

    As for the free lunch, doesn't Google provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner? I thought they do or did. We'll see how long the free meals last if Google keeps missing its financial projections. You're certainly not going to reduce salaries as Google pays substantially more on average than many other companies in tech. I bet that if Google really looks at how much they are spending for all three meals for several thousand employees they will see it more of a soft target for cutbacks.

    Expect Googlers to start paying some amount for lunch in order to offset the costs...besides...they make enough money!
    THEE WOLF
  • RE: Could there be such a thing as a free Microsoft lunch?

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