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Closing Time At Microsoft's Campus Pub

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the about-face-saving dept.

Microsoft 393

theodp writes "Just three days before the Spitfire pub was to open on Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division campus, TechFlash reports that Microsoft got cold feet and pulled the plug on the project, leaving the bar's owner and his 22 employees in the lurch. 'I am completely stunned and disappointed by the decision,' said now lease-less owner Jonathan Sposato, who's stuck with space built out as a pub, complete with a giant bar, a fireplace, and eight beer taps. (He says it wouldn't be economically viable to refit it as a restaurant.) Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos confirmed the company's sudden change of heart: 'The goal was always to create a cool gathering place for employees, but to do so in a manner that's consistent with a business environment. We decided we should do something more appropriate, and that meant not having a pub.' The new pub had been in development for more than a year."

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Last Post (5, Insightful)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | about 5 years ago | (#27546781)

"The goal was always to create a cool gathering place for employees..." Where? The state unemployment office?

Some of these people "...left other jobs to work in the pub" That was a really sleazy move by MS.

Re:Last Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546811)

They could always turn it into a coffee or juice bar. I don't buy the line about it not being financially viable. The ONLY thing that is specialised are the taps and those can be easily removed or refit to dispense other beverages.

Re:Last Post (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 5 years ago | (#27546829)

Not so. They have to take out the taps, take out the bar and put in a kitchen. It's the last part, mostly, that'd cost too much.

Re:Last Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546911)

Presumably they already have a kitchen since it was built as a pub, not just a bar. TFA specifically mentions that it is also a restaurant.

Re:Last Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546933)

Most of the places on MS campus that serve food are actually only open to MS employees. I bet this place was going to be like that, so no customers other than the MS staff, who already have a pretty wide choice of cafeterias, coffee shops, plus the local of campus restaurants that don't have any restrictions.

Re:Last Post (5, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | about 5 years ago | (#27546969)

Are you retarded? Seriously, beer taps are COMPLETELY different to any other type of tap. They are designed for beer, and beer only. They are designed to keep beer (not juice, soft-drink (or as you Americans would call it pop or soda), or even water cold), reduce froth in beer, etc.

Such a statement is so stupid it's not funny. The guy has obviously spent thousands of dollars fitting out the place to be a bar (fridges, taps, bar, furniture) that to refit to anything else would put him so far out of pocket he'd bankrupt himself.

Not only that, but bar staff are different to wait staff. They are trained to do a different job, at least here in Australia they are. They require an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) certification and need to know what drinks to mix, etc. Meanwhile, wait staff need to know the difference between various dishes, how long they can be left, how to make a decent coffee, etc.

It seems the owner's best avenue would be to sue, but unfortunately MS will fight that until he's broke. So either way, he's fucked 6 ways from Sunday.

Re:Last Post (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546991)

No shit. Look up the word "refit" sometime, dumbass. It would entail replacing the beer taps with taps for other beverages, which is not a big deal.

Do you even know how beer and fountain drink taps work?

Re:Last Post (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546889)

Their just afraid someone will get drunk and do something really, really stupid..... like install Linux!

Re:Last Post (2, Funny)

Clockwork Apple (64497) | about 5 years ago | (#27546993)

Their just afraid someone will get drunk and do something really, really stupid..... like install Linux!

Or maybe throw some chairs?

C.

MS Screws it's partner. News at 11. (5, Insightful)

Forge (2456) | about 5 years ago | (#27546801)

I'm taking bets that this contract dosn't put the cost of this "change of heart", where it rightfuly belongs.

Hurray for the MS Legal teem, once again ensuring that Microsoft can screw it's business partners with impunity.

Re:MS Screws it's partner. News at 11. (4, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 5 years ago | (#27546835)

My thoughts exactly. Just another form of expression of a basic truth. The fact that a key investor was a former Microsofter only makes this a little sweeter. Consider the words of the great philosophers Mr. T and Nelson.

Re:MS Screws it's partner. News at 11. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546903)

I call this the One Micro$oft Way.

The contract clearly states... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547027)

If the bar fails for any reason, including Microsoft killing it, Microsoft gets all their intellectual property. A deal's a deal.

Just like Sendo [theregister.co.uk] on phones.

One wonders if after all these years and this many examples: if the lawyers of Microsoft's potential partners aren't carefully reading the contracts and advising their clients with due diligence, what's in that failure for those lawyers? It could not be possible that Microsoft subverts the legal counsel of their abuse targets first, could it? That would be unethical and unfair. Oh, wait...

Sad reality (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#27546805)

The unspoken reality at Microsoft is that there is a large minority of Mormons working in and around Microsoft. While something like caffeinated drinks can be overlooked, something as potent and mind-altering as alcohol is a spit in the face of the Mormon employees.

There is no doubt that some pressure was brought to bear against management when this pub was announced, and though it hasn't been publicized, the Washington state Mormon leaders have been visiting the campus to lobby against the pub.

It sucks for the people who own and work at the pub, but in a silently ultra-religious state like WA, it's no surprise that on of the largest local employers bows to the commands of the puppet masters.

Re:Sad reality (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546825)

Uh. Well, that might be true, but I don't think so. I have lived in Redmond all my life - all 20 years, and I have only met one Mormon - and he wasn't that religious either.

Re:Sad reality (4, Insightful)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | about 5 years ago | (#27546837)

No idea if that is true or not (I don't even live in the same country), but if so it's a most egregious case of screwing the majority to appease a vocal minority.

Re:Sad reality (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546849)

Unfortunately very true.

Re:Sad reality (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546867)

And someone is modding down anyone who agrees with you.

Re:Sad reality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546851)

While I disagree completely with Microsoft's position, your assessment sounds like a crock. What are you basing your information on? What is your definition of large minority? If the campus were in Utah your comment would have a ring of truth and the pub would probably be illegal anyway. I spent half my life in the Puget Sound area and the other half in Utah. I know for a fact that the Mormons in Washington tend to keep to themselves. Good Mormons know the 10 commandments, one of which is "Though shalt not Judge...". Exceptionally clever Mormons, who actually study their own Doctrine, know that forcing people to do what they think is right is in fact Satan's plan. While the facts of your stated opinion are not impossible, I find them highly improbable.

-Anonymous lil'biotch

Re:Sad reality (5, Funny)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | about 5 years ago | (#27546917)

Good Mormons know the 10 commandments, one of which is "Though shalt not Judge...".

Which one is that? Were you privy to the entire set [youtube.com]?

Re:Sad reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546981)

Woah! Damn! How's that a troll? Is humor impairment a disability now, where they have to give you mod points to avoid getting sued? You're sick! Bet you didn't check the link, did you?

Re:Sad reality (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#27546863)

It sucks for the people who own and work at the pub, but in a silently ultra-religious state like WA, it's no surprise that on of the largest local employers bows to the commands of the puppet masters.

Yeah right, puppet masters? What kind of conspiracy are you trying to push around here? A quick search around the net shows only about 3% of Washingtonians are Mormons [adherents.com]. You really think the Mormons can push Microsoft around? I'd like to see some real evidence of that. For what it's worth (probably not much) you can be alcohol in gas stations and grocery stores even in Utah.

No, this is another case of someone getting screwed out of a partnership with Microsoft. They weren't the first, they won't be the last. If you go into a partnership in any way with Microsoft, make sure you have the contract nailed down, and nothing is left to trust. Because if they can get an extra dollar from screwing you over, they will. You may say this is flamebait, but it is true: there is a long list of companies who have gone down because of underestimating the dangers of doing business with Microsoft.

Re:Sad reality (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#27546881)

I haven't said that MS isn't screwing the pub investors.

But why do you think MS suddenly had a change of heart? How does the pub affect anything on Microsoft's bottom line?

Re:Sad reality (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#27546937)

Most companies don't have bars on their campus. There could be a ton of reasons they switched their opinion. But suddenly coming out and saying the mormons are now the master of Microsoft is ridiculous.

Microsoft isn't a single entity, the company didn't have a change of heart, it was some small division of Microsoft who was in charge, and they thought it was a good idea until someone higher up cancelled it. Did mormon influence cause that higher up to make the change? If you have proof I'll believe you, but until now it sounds like an empty rumor. But that's way different than saying Mormons own Microsoft.

Re:Sad reality (0, Flamebait)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#27546961)

What would that proof need to consist of?

Would you believe if I told you the names of the Mormon leaders who visited? Would you believe if I told you the names of the management visited? Would you believe if I gave you the dates and times of the meetings between them?

Seriously. What would convince you? Because if I were incredulous, those things wouldn't convince me. They are just pieces of information that could be gleaned from the web or completely made up.

So here's the problem. You either go on living in your incredulity or you accept that perhaps there was something going on behind the scenes that is not public knowledge. It's no skin off my back either way.

Re:Sad reality (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546983)

yes actually all of the above would. start talkin.

Re:Sad reality (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547035)

These are the two visits I have specific knowledge of. Outside of these, I only know that there were other meetings to which I was not privy to.

2008/10/15 - Mormon leadership group (including former LDS of Seattle President Gordon Conger and Todd Knowles) met with the Lisa Brummel and Mike Murray to discuss the planned pub.

2008/3/25 - Mormon leadership group (including previously mention Todd Knowles) met with Lisa Brummel (and staff) and Jon Sposato for a hearing of Sposato's response to the group's fight against the pub.

Again, these are only the meetings I am aware of.

Anon.

Re:Sad reality (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 5 years ago | (#27547023)

There's a ridiculous leap between "maybe there was something going on behind the scenes that is not public knowledge" and "Mormons caused Microsoft to close their pub".

Nobody asked you to give the names and dates of management being visited by mormon leaders. We ask for any reason whatsoever to believe that Mormonism had anything to do with this at all. We're incredulous because there's nothing to credit.

Let's give an analogy to BadAnalogyGuy:

It's as though you saw a woman crying in public and said "she was raped". Well, yeah, that would be a good reason for her to cry, and there's almost certainly a good reason she's crying, but there's a startling disconnect. And if we ask you to prove it, you say "Well, I don't know exactly who and when the rape occurred. Seriously. What would convince you? I could have made that up." etc. etc.

Re:Sad reality (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#27547025)

If it were something that really mattered, of course, I would go verify the subject myself, maybe even make a trip to Washington. If you want to know something for sure, you have to verify it yourself. In this case I don't care that much.

I've seen you post on slashdot before, so I know you are a reasonable person at least some of the time, so if you tell me something is true and it sounds reasonable, I will accept it as something interesting that is probably true (but if I ever need to know for sure, I will do the investigation myself at that time).

However, what you said didn't sound reasonable. It sounded more like a rumor that has been floating around that you heard or something. And then you went further and drew silly conclusions from it (Mormons are Microsoft's master? Come on....). Not very credible. Maybe it isn't just a rumor, maybe you know that this did happen. If that were the case, I would find it extremely interesting and would want to know about it. So if you DO know something, please tell.

Re:Sad reality (5, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | about 5 years ago | (#27547053)

Maybe "puppetmasters" was a bit strongly phrased, but there is no secret here. I don't have any specific information because I do not work for MS. I only know people who do and I don't want to pose any risk to them for telling me what they know.

This, like many things that go on behind closed doors, is simply not apparent because it hasn't been publicized. Now, if you ask me to vouch for what I've been told, then we're at a standstill, because I can only tell you that I believe them because I don't have any reason not to.

Re:Sad reality (3, Insightful)

hughk (248126) | about 5 years ago | (#27547099)

Most companies don't have bars on their campus. There could be a ton of reasons they switched their opinion. But suddenly coming out and saying the mormons are now the master of Microsoft is ridiculous.

Smaller companies not, but if you are big enough to have a sports and social club, then you often have a bar. There is a reason for this, a beer or two in a convivial atmosphere loosens tongues, and you don't want people talking shop in front of every Tom, Dick or Harry.

Re:Sad reality (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | about 5 years ago | (#27547261)

Most companies don't have bars on their campus. There could be a ton of reasons they switched their opinion.
 

Incidentally, I don't think whether or not they should have a bar on campus is really the issue.

The problem is they commissioned a businessman to build them something, waited until he had spent as much money as he could on it, and then backed out before paying him.

Mormons or not, that's a dirty thing to do. And no less dirty just because it isn't forbidden by a contract.

Re:Sad reality (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 5 years ago | (#27547155)

Mormons aren't much different from Scientology believers. Don't be surprised if that 3% is being very vocal behind everyone else's back. After all they have to appease space Jesus to get their planet to populate for an eternity of sex.

Re:Sad reality (5, Funny)

Spasemunki (63473) | about 5 years ago | (#27547215)

Fool! You've bought the oldest trick in the book, the 'blame the Mormons' line. I've heard through private sources that most Microsoft execs are actually vampires Jehova's Witnesses and are worried that alcohol consumption would dilute the blood volume they need for their artificial blood cloning experiments. All of Microsoft's purported 'software development' is just a front for establishing a solid breeding stock in the Seattle area so that the vampires can repopulate the Earth when the Conflicker virus finally triggers in 2012. Think you can prove me wrong? Then answer this: if Microsoft is really a software company why is their operating system such rubbish?

We're through the looking glass, people.

Which Washington do you live in? (3, Informative)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 5 years ago | (#27547245)

The unspoken reality at Microsoft is that there is a large minority of Mormons working in and around Microsoft. While something like caffeinated drinks can be overlooked, something as potent and mind-altering as alcohol is a spit in the face of the Mormon employees.

Wait, what are you smoking? There aren't that many Mormons in the Seattle or east side area on the whole, and nobody cares what they think about drinking. When I worked at MS, the Muslims had a more visible presence (they had a prayer room), and nobody cared about offending them when the Friday beer parties rolled around.

but in a silently ultra-religious state like WA

Again, Huh? For the most part, Washington pretty liberal in religious terms, but the few religious conservatives we have are not silent. Just ask MS about their good friend Rev Hutcherson and his famous anti-gay MS boycots.

I find it rather hard to believe that MS would cave to any religious group after the local PR fiasco that resulted in the whole Hutcherson affair.

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I hope he has a contract (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | about 5 years ago | (#27546813)

...to beat them over the head with to get his investment back. And in reference to the other post, they could always move the unemployment office into its place.

Bars are a business and a meeting place (4, Insightful)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 5 years ago | (#27546823)

How is a pub not consistent with business? Many business deals/contacts are made in pubs. It could be a great place for employees to relax on a Friday afternoon after a successful product launch, oh wait, this is Microsoft. Well they could always give out free beer to console employees and boost morale.

I see nothing wrong with employees being able to hang out after hours and maybe even some informal brainstorming could take place. Way to not think differently MSFT. How very boring and corporate America of you.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (4, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | about 5 years ago | (#27546845)

No this is AMERICA....

Whereas in Europe you can head over to a pub to relax and chit chat, in AMERICA (and English Canada) it is completely frowned upon.

I know whenever I am stateside and I order a beer I am completely out of the norm!

BUT yet when it comes to drinking while I sip my beer the others get piss drunk, do idiotic things, and generally make a complete a** out of themselves.

This begs the question, is the pub the problem? Or the fact that the culture in this respect has its head up its a**.

BTW I am European, grew up in North America, but now have been living in Europe for 15 years. And while Europeans have their oddities, this aspect of English North American life is really screwed...

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | about 5 years ago | (#27546861)

Whereas in Europe you can head over to a pub to relax and chit chat, in AMERICA (and English Canada) it is completely frowned upon.

Its an anglo-saxon thing. It isn't much better in the UK, believe me.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547161)

Whereas in Europe you can head over to a pub to relax and chit chat, in AMERICA (and English Canada) it is completely frowned upon.

Its an anglo-saxon thing. It isn't much better in the UK, believe me.

I wouldn't say it's universally an Anglo-Saxon thing. In Australia we often go down to the pub at lunch during the week (though generally it's only on a Friday) and order a beer or two each, and also drink *in the office* on Friday afternoons with company supplied booze.

I don't frequent the pub scene at night though (too many crap "sports/footy" pubs where I am where you can only really go to drink and can't get a decent meal, or talk, and rarely get to listen to some good live music), so I don't know if lots of people go overboard on drinking or not then.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

jas203 (942742) | about 5 years ago | (#27547221)

Its an anglo-saxon thing. It isn't much better in the UK, believe me.

Do you really want to be making a sweeping generalisation based on race? </flame>

Seriously though, I don't think you can draw such a sweeping statement - I often have meetings and discussions in pubs with colleagues from both my company and others. It's a great way to relax away from the corporate/political BS in the office, while coming up with good ideas and getting some actual stuff done. But maybe that is because I'm an engineer.

I think it's cultural influences that have the most significant impact - in the UK (or at least wherever I've been in the UK) going to the pub isn't universal frowned upon. It's quite an accepted part of life.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

Pitr (33016) | about 5 years ago | (#27546915)

What part of "English Canada" are you talking about, 'cause where I live (and work), pub business lunches are pretty normal. I believe the same is true of some parts of the states as well... NYC and LA come to mind, and possibly Boston but that's just a guess.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546935)

It really depends on what kind of company you work at. At my last job, we would go to the neighbourhood pub once in a while for lunch, have a drink or two while mulling over project details, and return to work. In addition, at least once a month (started out every week, turned into ~ every 4 weeks), we would go for wings and drinks after the day's work. The employees were primarily young, pretty relaxed and easy-going (including the CEO).

My current company is much more corporate. Even though the staff is mostly just as young, the department heads are eager to please upper management and being corporate/nitpicky about everything is the best way to accomplish that. The first time I ordered a drink with lunch, I was told by one coworker that it was not acceptable. Simply put, I had that drink plus another to prove a point. Now, much of the staff is more comfortable with having a drink at lunch. It was never about whether drinking was acceptable; it was about certain employees walking all over others in order to gain recognition from management.

What surprises me most is that this article is about Microsoft... do they not remember the Ballmer Peak [xkcd.com]?!

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 5 years ago | (#27546965)

I don't know what part of Europe you're in, but apparently England has some heavy drinking habits [bbc.co.uk].

That's why the whole "Europe VS America" thing is so silly. For any generalization you make there are always exceptions. Americans are not all anything, and neither are Europeans.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (3, Interesting)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 5 years ago | (#27547101)

A lot of people in Europe won't admit that the UK is in Europe and a lot of people in the UK claim not to be part of Europe so it's not really fair to paint all of Europe with the same brush.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

gordguide (307383) | about 5 years ago | (#27547049)

Clearly you have never been to "English Canada", and for proof, I offer your silly, sweeping "observation". Although I will admit that, since the bar in the very research park in my city only allows staff and invited guests access, it's possible that they told you there was no bar. No idea why.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 5 years ago | (#27547085)

Well duh, the US has gets a lot of its heritage from the UK and Ireland. Of course it's going to have issues with drinking.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547109)

Oh yeah, because Eurotrash don't get raging drunk and make complete asses out of themselves. Just look at any soccer game. Crazy Euros.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

Aqua OS X (458522) | about 5 years ago | (#27547151)

Ehh, I don't know. If I have 1 beer with lunch, spend the following hour trying to fight the urge to take nap. I might as well eat a Tylenol PM sandwich.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (4, Insightful)

Bottlemaster (449635) | about 5 years ago | (#27547185)

Ehh, I don't know. If I have 1 beer with lunch, spend the following hour trying to fight the urge to take nap. I might as well eat a Tylenol PM sandwich.

Well... have you tried not having a beer at lunch? It might help.

Any reason why those of us who can handle alcohol shouldn't have beer at lunch?

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | about 5 years ago | (#27547235)

So what you're saying is that it's frowned-upon to go to a bar in North American, even though it's very unusual for people to order to drinks at a bar, but somehow everybody who goes to bars gets piss drunk anyway and does foolish things.

Even taken separately, nothing you said is remotely consistent with my experiences on the continent. Taken as a whole, your post is nonsense.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546871)

Nothing like a depressant to boost morale!

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546975)

Microsoft doesn't have an "after hours." If you're not a 20%er you're putting in 80-100 hours a week, and thinking about how to get ahead the other 89-109. It's a great place to work if you got in while they were in growth mode because when you fall down your options were worth Millions. Now that they're in Monopoly mode? Not so much. But they still will work you till you fall down. I'm surprised we don't see more stories about employees going postal. I guess to go postal you've got to have some energy left in you.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547005)

Because it is a business and decision is made by the company. It's not a matter what you see or not, it's up to the company managers etc

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (3, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | about 5 years ago | (#27547037)

How is a pub not consistent with business?

My boss got fired after he walked past his secretary and she smelled alcohol on his breath and reported that as sexual harassment. From beer. His friends took him out for his birthday during lunch.

The company didn't want to chance it. So welcome to America. Home of the free (to sue for every stupid little thing).

Perhaps this was what MS thought about. Personally, I think America has a relationship with alcohol that's beyond fucked up. Ever notice how the bars in some states (I hesitate to say all) have no windows/small windows and then with the shades pulled down? Welcome to the land where the Puritans settled. And no, those attitudes never went away completely.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about 5 years ago | (#27547069)

My boss got fired after he walked past his secretary and she smelled alcohol on his breath and reported that as sexual harassment. From beer. His friends took him out for his birthday during lunch.

ROFL. OK, let's hear her version of the story now.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547119)

There is a level in business where alcohol is anathema to business - in customer facing roles, on the manufacturing line, driving, operating heavy equipment are examples of this.

There's a level where it's an essential lubricant - high level sales, conventions, customers who offer it to salesmen. At the highest level of business alcohol is just one of many refreshments available when your host asks, "What are you having?" Whether or not it's appropriate depends mostly on who you are and where you are.

In workspaces overseen by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, there are certain activities that impact your "risk level" and so affect your "premiums" and this would be one of those things. Reducing risk for workers is their job, and they take it serious. They might even shut down your plant for boozing it up on the job. That would have some serious impacts on the release schedule for Vista SP2, AKA "7", so Microsoft dare not risk it publicly. But the tapizzle is still under rack sixle if you get my inferizzle, and if you're dub debugging, Mitch still has the "boulder" to get you over that compiler bump.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

qw0ntum (831414) | about 5 years ago | (#27547051)

Eh, they'll get their company alcohol. When I was there (at a low-budget team) we were having a BBQ on the lawn next to our building, and a high-budget team was also having an event out there with an open bar (we just had a cooler). That's not too uncommon there.

On a nicer note, one time my manager thought it would be fun to spend a workday with the team at his house making beer. It was a good bonding experience and a welcome break at a very hectic time. Good people, good people.

Re:Bars are a business and a meeting place (1)

garlicbready (846542) | about 5 years ago | (#27547065)

Well they could always give out free beer to console employees and boost morale.

I can just imagine the guy at the bar cleaning a glass while saying
"remember guys Gratis versus Libre, that's Think free as in free speech, not free beer"

This belongs in idle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546847)

Hell, it wasn't even in the firehose for me to "downmod". More KD crap.

Tyranny of the Minority over the Majority (5, Informative)

MrMista_B (891430) | about 5 years ago | (#27546879)

Thanks, Mormons.

No, not really.

Not flamebait either - local Mormon leaders have been quite vigorously, though quietly, campaigning against the pub, and, apparantly, successfully. Assholes.

Re:Tyranny of the Minority over the Majority (1)

strack (1051390) | about 5 years ago | (#27547063)

its not so much that mormons hate fun. its that they try and stop other people having fun.

Re:Tyranny of the Minority over the Majority (1)

dysplay (1026828) | about 5 years ago | (#27547159)

As noted in a previous comment, it wold be nice to have some sort of evidence of that. Not that it would surprise me, mind you.

I'm a Mormon myself and I find this quite appalling. To set someone up like this and dump them after they've made a serious investment is rude at the very least. What's even more sad to me is that there isn't room to adjust the pub to also work as a restaurant. While I hate alcohol I love going to pubs when I've overseas. They usually have the best food.

Regardless of what's behind this I'm quite sorry for the owner. He should not have been stabbed in the back like this. No Mormon who actually pays attention to the principles of the religion would have wanted that.

This is it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546901)

More so than any other story, this is the downfall of M$. Everything about them that represented coolness in the face of the uncool -- out the window.

Just a question. (3, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#27546919)

I'm all for putting a pub in anywhere, including an existing pub (imagine an infinite series of pubs...). That said, does Google have any pubs on their campuses? Honest question, really.

Corporate Stupid in a Nutshell (4, Interesting)

Sarusa (104047) | about 5 years ago | (#27546923)

Boy if this isn't Office Space and every boneheaded corporate move ever in a nutshell. Hey let's do something nice for out employees, they're adults who will enjoy this and can have a beer without getting completely drunk and making asses of themselves at work (or we'll fire them, that's fair). Then a lawyer takes a look at it, says you know this looks like it might be fun and actionable, and god knows we don't have any money - better cancel it.

So you end up five times worse than never even having planned it in the first place, because you got everyone's hopes up and now you look like stupid jackasses. But your asses are covered, so all is right with the world! And this is why we pay all you stupid CEOs and MBAs the big bucks, to be dithering asswipes who lead by windsock.

tr0lyl (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27546925)

be in a scene and been sitting here 3ig deal. Death

I think its a bad move on Microsofts part... (2, Funny)

Daswolfen (1277224) | about 5 years ago | (#27546945)

And who knows, Drunk programmers would probably improve the product... ...sure couldn't make it any worse.

Re:I think its a bad move on Microsofts part... (3, Interesting)

hughk (248126) | about 5 years ago | (#27547131)

One of the nastiest bits of code that I wrote after a four rather strong beer lunch. It was in the early days of graphics when we had a DEC VT11, vector graphic display where we had to draw the screen within the phosphor decay time so it didn't flicker. Typically you would have a sequence of instructions for the graphic controller and then you interrupted the CPU which would do cleverer things. The problem was that every cycle spend in the interrupt code, the phosphor was decaying and it limited the number of things we could draw as the CPU was involved every time we drew a new component on the screen.

In the pub, I just thought "Sod it" and shaved a few cycles by having self modifying code. Ugly as hell and hard to maintain but it meant we could display more on the screen.

Boring (1, Interesting)

Quothz (683368) | about 5 years ago | (#27546947)

Spitfire Pub? Really? They should've canceled the project for pure, simple lack of creativity. Some suggestions, blatantly stolen from responses on an MS blog: Foo Bar, the Status Bar, the Tool Bar, the Task Bar, the Information Bar, Hello World.

Re:Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547075)

Blue Screen of Drinks

Justifications (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 5 years ago | (#27547061)

Justification for a pub: Google doesn't have one.

Justification for pulling the plug on the pub: Google doesn't have one.

Never trust Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#27547071)

... on anything. Their word is worthless. The bar owner is now screwed, but he should have known better than to deal with the devil.

The perfect solution (4, Insightful)

Lost+Found (844289) | about 5 years ago | (#27547091)

They just need to send management to the pub... let them occupy their time with darts and vomit while the engineers work on fixing their operating system.

Obvious Reason (1)

nicc777 (614519) | about 5 years ago | (#27547147)

They no longer have to keep employees happy, since the world economic crisis force employees to hang on to what they got.

It will open as soon as the crisis are over and power is back in the employees court :-)

Microsoft has an "Australia" problem (5, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 years ago | (#27547201)

Time was when England exiled their most violent felons to an island continent penal colony half a world away. Over time the definition for "violent felon" slid from rapist and murderer to pirate, then to treasonous conspirator, and so on until they landed at political dissident. For many years they exported these folk, only to discover later that this was their best and brightest; their free thinkers, their engineers artists and inventors, the folk who were brighter than their superiors. And what were left were Lords and serfs.

So now Australia breeds a more vital breed of men, having been selected from that filter, and England has lost control of them.

Such is as it is with Microsoft. Microsoft has bought into the theory that the top 20% of workers contribute 80% of the work that they've lost sight of how fungible those metrics are. Their 20%ers are folk who threaten the established structure, who are smarter than their bosses, who have scary ideas. It's only right that they migrate from there to Google. Google is Microsoft's Australia.

And no, I've never worked for Microsoft or Google and I still don't and I doubt that I would barring dire circumstance or rude incentive.

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