Stung by lawsuits, bad press, and bar tabs that must border on the ludicrous, Microsoft is making official noise about cutting back on the booze that it provides at events that it sponsors and hosts.
According to The Telegraph, the company sent the following in a note to its staff: “Even in the absence of an express legal requirement, Microsoft expects event organisers and participants to exercise common sense and good judgment when alcoholic beverages are served at social events.” That’s fair enough, but there’s more:
Food should be served along with alcoholic beverages, participants should manage their level of alcohol consumption [and] event sponsors should ensure that alternative forms of transportation are available. Any participant who becomes inebriated should be prevented from consuming alcoholic beverages and from operating a vehicle. [Bolded by TNW]
That Microsoft is going to put the stop in the top for any drunk person is going to change the character of the larger tech scene; no more will Bing allow you that 8th cocktail, it seems. As we wrote when Katy Perry called Microsoft cheap for not providing free cocktails at a concert that the she gave on behalf of the firm, “[we have been to] Microsoft parties, and can attest to the libation generosity that infects Microsoft’s mind. There is usually good stuff, and plenty of it.”
Of course, this all makes good corporate sense; Microsoft does not want or need the reputation of being a boozy firm, although it wouldn’t harm its recruiting prowess among younger workers. From here on out, the Microsoft party might not be the one to make it to.
The corker to all of this is that the US Microsoft staff were told verbally to ‘enjoy themselves in moderation,’ while the UK Microsoft denizens were not. Culture, or can the Brits just hold their liquor?