Microsoft is never kind unless there’s a damn good reason

It’s hard for a company convicted of monopolistic, anti-competitive behaviour to change its image, so naturally it was up to Microsoft’s nice Canadian GM to talk about its efforts to turn over a new leaf.

In an online discussion form, Phil Sorgen fielded all kinds of questions about what the world’s largest software company is doing around corporate social responsibility (CSR), from employees offering volunteer time to actual programs to benefit the community. The best part, though, was Sorgen’s ease at deflecting the obvious questions about Microsoft’s sincerity. Some gems:

1. “Your image and your reputation can be tarnished by your behaviour,” he said. Can they ever!

2. “We shifted from what some would call ‘random acts of kindness.'” Which were what, exactly?

3. “Young workers are looking for employers who are industry leaders, have high ethical standards, are innovative, have a strong corporate culture and are socially responsible.” Well, four out of five ain’t bad.

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