Memo Shows How the Google Half Lives

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With Google sitting atop this year's "100 best companies to work for" list put out by Fortune magazine and the tech industry's insatiable curiosity about all things Google -- not to mention people's general fondness for the forbidden -- it's no surprise that a purportedly leaked internal Microsoft memo about Google has captured the collective fancy of the blogosphere.


The memo, allegedly authored by a Microsoft manager, contains insights said to be gleaned from a Microsoft employee who also put in some time at the Googleplex.


The memo describes a work environment in which Google provides much of life's basic necessities -- food, transportation, clothing -- in exchange for a work day not constrained by a traditional clock. Turns out that "most" employees don't take advantage of one of Google's most vaunted benefits: the freedom to spend 20 percent of their time working on their own ideas.


Key pluses, according to the memo: free gourmet food and dedicated IT support facilities called "tech stops" -- complete with spare parts -- on every floor of every building. Though few companies would feel comfortable with such a decentralized IT structure, it boosts camaraderie and productivity at Google.


Minuses include lower salaries and fewer traditional benefits than found at Microsoft, a convoluted management structure and a lack of private office space.


For more "insider" insights, this Tasty Research blog post collects the thoughts of a Yahoo employee who interned at both Microsoft and Google.