Blog touts Microsoft work culture over Googleplex life

Insider Google blog says life inside the web giant isn't as peachy as some make it out to be

An anonymous blog post is generating heated discussion for its purported insider's view of the work culture at secretive Google -- and why life at the Googleplex may not be as glamorous as it is generally portrayed to be.

The Sunday posting, entitled "Life at Google -- The Microsoftie Perspective," claims employees at Google's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters are supplied with all of the perks of a college dorm and more, with everything from three free meals a day at Google's gourmet chef-staffed cafeteria and kiosks with tech support staff on every floor of each building, to common bins that are replenished twice a week with free t-shirts.

At the same time, the posting, apparently a Q&A interview with a Microsoft employee who had formerly worked at Google, also claims that Google treats software developers as "interchangeable parts," that few of its employees use their '20 percent time' to work on personal projects, that the typical middle manager oversees 100 employees, and that salaries and benefits -- despite Google's still-climbing stock price -- are inferior to Microsoft's.

The author of the blog, created over the weekend on WordPress and entitled "Just Say 'No' to Google," has yet to be identified, leaving open the possibility that it is a hoax.

But observers say that many of the details ring true with published reports and other accounts of Microsoft and Google's internal culture (see Computerworld's stories last fall looking at Google's inefficient hiring practices and meager stock option awards for new employees).

"I have similar input from clients that confirms most of what he said," said David Goodenough, a Seattle-based career coach who has worked with a number of Microsoft executives.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, citing anonymous sources, reported Wednesday that the blog posting, which has generated more than 350 comments since it was posted to Slashdot, was likely put up by an unidentified Microsoft recruiter.

Foley wrote that was confirmed in an e-mail from the Microsoft employee whose account is posted on the blog.

According to Foley, the Microsoft employee left the company several years ago to help start a software widget maker called Phatbits that was acquired by Google in 2005.

That employee recently left Google to rejoin Microsoft as a senior software developer.

In his account, Google's paternalistic attitude helps inspire workaholic employees.

"Nearly everyone is on e-mail 24/7 and most people spend of their evenings working from home," he wrote.

"College kids tend to like it [Google] because it's just like college -- all of your basic needs are taken care of," he wrote.

"Mid-timers...tend to be a mixed bag," he wrote. "For these folks to succeed at Google they have to drink the cool-aid (sp) and duke it out with the college kids because Google doesn't place any value on previous industry experience (It puts tremendous value on degrees, especially Stanford ones)."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?