Working at Microsoft has many advantages from great benefits to free Starbuck’s coffee. And yes, the inexpensive software and access to new technologies before they become available to the general public is nice, but what really seems to excite employees is the hardware. I’m not talking about PC and external hard drives. No, what speeds up Microsofties’ hearts are mice. They get “mouse envy.”
 
If someone shows up at a meeting and starts using a newly purchased mouse, people coyly sneak a peek. It’s subtle, but you feel the tension in the room growing. And soon someone blurts out, “Is that a new mouse?  I didn’t know you could get that mouse in eggplant.”
 
“Yes, eggplant. It’s the new red!”
 
“Where did you get it?”
 
“The company store.”
 
“The company store has eggplant mice?”
 
“Yes.”
 
The tempo of the conversation picks up as more people join in, comparing their mice and discussing their merits. It’s highly competitive with each person saying their mouse works better, is smaller or a more hip color. This infatuation with mice and ready availability at the Microsoft company store  has resulted in most Microsofties having a drawer full of assorted mice from old-fashioned wired to the latest craze, Arc™ Mouse.
 
No doubt, Microsoft mice rock. I used to replace my mouse every 3-6 months when the only ones available had a small rolling ball on the bottom that routinely got gunked up with dirt, cat hairs, and food droppings. I would clean the ball, but it did little good. So I’d pound the mouse of my desk until it broke (true story). I must have killed dozens of mice in my lifetime… and don’t get me started with sluggish keyboards!
 
Then one day I invested in a new-fangled Microsoft optical mouse and ergonomic keyboard. Heaven!  I used them for years before I upgraded to a wireless optical set.
 
Since joining Microsoft, less than two years ago, I’ve purchased three mice, one keyboards…  and…
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