The recent flap about the anti-discrimination bill and Microsoft got a couple of us talking at dinner about how progressive Microsoft's benefits package was compared to the rest of the software industry. One of the the things that came up is also mentioned in the Music for America blog which points out

Microsoft has a stellar record as pioneering same-sex partner rights, and they haven't reneged on this stance internally. Microsoft continues to offer same-sex partner domestic benefits – benefits which are exemplary, especially for health insurance coverage.

Being that Microsoft is the only company I've worked for as a full time employee I do take a bunch of the benefits we get for granted. Although I often end up surprised to hear that other companies in the software industry fall far short of what Microsoft offers.

For example in his post, uh oh, what happened to my bank account? Mark Jen wrote

next, let's look at the health care benefit provided. arguably, this is the biggest benefit companies pay out for their employees. google definitely has a program that is on par with other companies in the industry; but since when does a company like google settle for being on par? microsoft's health care benefits shame google's relatively meager offering. for those of you who don't know, microsoft pays 100% of employees' premiums for a world-class PPO. everything you can possibly imagine is covered. the program has no co-pays on anything (including prescription drugs); you can self-refer to any doctor in the blue cross blue shield network, which pretty much means any licensed professional; and you can even get up to 24 hour-long massage sessions per year.

I also saw similer sentiments in a recent post by Jim Stroud entitled Life with Bill... where he wrote

To all concerned, I am now on the Microsoft payroll effective immediately. Google was a groovy gig, but Bill gave me an offer I could not refuse. (Ask me about the benefits. WOW!) I am SO happy and can truly see myself here for the long haul.

I guess it's a sign I'm getting older that I actually care about things like benefits packages. It's likely that companies like Google tailor their compensation package to what the young, single geek fresh out of college is interested in while as the average age at Microsoft has gone up its compensation package has targeted the older, married geek instead.