Insiders finger MS Shop as source of resale racket
Secondhand store found near scene of crime...
A couple of insiders have written with suggestions about what it might be that has triggered Microsoft's crackdown on staff reselling software. For some reason, the fabled Microsoft Store, which offers staff heavy discounts, seems to figure highly.
This explanation, from Ian, has plausibility because it is just sooooo Microsoft to fail to notice the obvious for such a long time:
"Just outside the Redmond campus, there's a little mall area which includes a great little second-hand book shop that also sells second-hand software. Naturally, it is invariably packed with the latest and greatest, not to mention the oldest and er... least greatest, MS software.
"It turns out that all of it, without exception, comes from staff making use of their perk to buy software from the internal shop. They are not supposed to resell it, but of course they do, and I think that's the crime they'd be charged with.
"I'm amazed that they've only just noticed though: it must have been the scale that they felt their own salesmen couldn't compete with.
"You'd think they would pay their staff to sell things for them, wouldn't you?"
At savage discounts, no, not in Redmond. China and India are an entirely different matter. Ian also has some background on the culture thing:
"As for the corporate culture change, for many, many years this has been the subject of internal debate. The paper mag MS prints every week (can't remember the name sorry) on campus has had a thread running called 'shrimp or weiner' for at least the last decade, in which one person argues that the culture is degrading because MS have made record profits again, but have decided to reduce the quality of food on offer at the company launch parties, hence the title of the thread. Others point out that extra benefits include MS closing one local restaurant every night and ordering all their food to be brought in, for those people that are working late, or weekends. A culture like that is to be applauded, and if they feel that they should reduce the quality from time to time, well, that's not so bad."
We won't reveal whose stapler Ian now claims to own, and we'll draw a veil over Steve (we'll just call him Steve), who says MS has great notebooks and he lifts one every chance he gets. We're fairly sure he means paper notebooks, but some Tablet PCs do look a bit like paper notebooks. In bad light. No, really, officer...