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Google and Microsoft Compared

Today, Microsoft Windows operating system, the Internet Explorer browser, and its suite of office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) dominate their markets, but came to that position only after lawsuits, accusations of unfair trade practices, and an aggressive marketing strategy that permeates the internal culture, as well ("Microsoft's Impending," 2007).

Microsoft has a formal diversity program in place, encourages employees to continue their education (the company alone offers more than 2,000 courses to employees), and makes it possible for employees to work remotely using Microsoft tools. Compensation packages include health insurance and contribution to financial packages in many cases, as well. The company emphasizes balance of work and home life, and some Microsoft campuses feature on-site fitness centers ("Life at Microsoft," 2009). Although Microsoft has more than 91,000 employees in October 2009 located in subsidiaries as far-flung as Kenya, Bangladesh and Brazil, and revenues in excess of $58 billion, the internal culture-like the external strategy-is one of competitiveness, aggressive behavior and characteristic of the personal style of its founder, Bill Gates (Andre, 2007).

As a young company, it is not surprising that Google has an employee-friendly organizational culture that encourages teamwork and innovation. Technical employees are given as much as 20 percent of their workday to pursue individual projects, and company amenities include on-site chefs, on-site massages, day care, fitness center and even dogs. It is a relaxed and informal environment where employees, it is theorized, are able to work to their full potential to invent the great things for the company (Lohr, 2005).

There are few individual offices at Google, further enhancing the team atmosphere, and like Microsoft, Google provides technology tools to enhance productivity whether at the office or remotely. In addition, G...

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