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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 4, 2007 at 11:15 AM

New Microsoft perks around the corner?

Business Week’s detailed story on changes in Microsoft HR policies during the past two years under the direction Lisa Brummel, includes some perks the company has been or may be offering employees in the future.

Most of these have been talked about — some were part of the revisions Brummel made to HR policy in May — but many have not been widely publicized before:

— Shuttle bus service, with Wi-Fi, coming soon.

— Food delivered to desks, but no more grocery delivery; and “maybe — just maybe — free lunch” to compete with Google’s famous perk (Brummel is “contemplating” this, CFO Chris Liddell is “studying it” and CEO Steve Ballmer is skeptical.).

— Doctors making house calls for Microsoft employees.

— Perhaps satellite offices or work-from-home schedules. (The article says Brummel has been “considering” the former and is a “proponent” of the latter.)

— Even new recruits are getting some action: The company’s recruiting center has been transformed into a “hip hotel lobby complete with an Xbox lounge and copious snacks.”

Will these perks and perhaps others be announced at the company’s annual employee meeting Thursday at Safeco? For all the speculation on what is and what should be, check out two recent posts at Mini-Microsoft.

Also interesting to note is the tenor of the comments in those posts, which counter the generally positive depiction of Microsoft’s HR changes in the Business Week articles.

For reference on where Brummel’s coming from, check out this profile and Q&A we ran last year.

STEVE RINGMAN / THE SEATTLE TIMES ARCHIVE

Lisa Brummel, senior vice president of human resources at Microsoft, talks with an employee in a cafeteria on the campus in September, 2006.

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