Microsoft cracks down on heavy drinking -

Software giant, Vole, is so worried that its image has been tarnished by the heavy drinking antics of its sales people that it has ordered its staff back off the wagon.

Last year, Microsoft was a little embarrassed after a serious of court cases revealed that some of its out-of-town sales meetings were Bacchanalian orgies worthy of a scene in Caligula, if the emperor ever considered a career in sales.

Particularly grim was the Microsoft Global Exchange conference in Atlanta where the vodka and Jagermeister flowed like water and several senior executives are alleged to have got "ridiculously drunk" and made unwelcome sexual advances toward female colleagues.

Microsoft is not admitting the company has a culture of heavy drinking, although we would have thought that trying to sell Vista would have driven any sane person to the bottle.

According to the Telegraph newspaper, Vole has now updated its code of "ethics and compliance" to include the requirement for event organisers and participants to exercise common sense and good judgement when alcoholic beverages are served at social events. We read that to mean that vodka and Jagermeister should be off the menu and that there should be a few top quality and unassuming  reds.

However Vole adds that 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, just as legs.

"Any participant who becomes inebriated should be prevented from consuming alcoholic beverages and from operating a vehicle," the requirements say.

We wonder if this lack of free booze was behind the reason for Microsoft to cancel its commitment to CES. We notice that it does not seem to apply to Europe, so we will be in our usual bar in SnowBIT.