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This week in Redmond

Microsoft, which has a reputation for arrogance in its personnel practices, is working on its recruiting efforts.

Microsoft over the years has attracted a reputation for arrogance in its personnel practices, which has put off some would-be job candidates.

But a News.com article this week, which generated a slew of reader feedback, shows how the software maker is working on its recruiting efforts.

Many readers took the time to share their frustrating interview experiences with Microsoft, noting internal communications problems, among others.

But reader Anthony Potts said it's important for companies to grill potential hires.

"And as for being arrogant, why shouldn't they be?" he said. "I personally know several Microsoft employees and they get paid well, get great benefits, have every piece of hardware/software they ask for..."

Also at Microsoft this week, the company released details of the long-awaited update to its customer relationship management software, adding a slew of new tools and making the system available via the on-demand applications delivery model. The unveiling of the new applications set, which will be known as Microsoft CRM 3.0, was done in conjunction with the software giant's Tech Ed 2005 conference in Europe and its Worldwide Partner Conference 2005 in the United States.

And in what could be a prelude to a new server product for midsize businesses, Microsoft announced a if they buy a set of Microsoft programs. The promotion combines three Windows Server operating system licenses, one server license for the Exchange calendar and e-mail software, and a single server license for the Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 product--along with the right to access the software from up to 50 computers.

Also on the software front, the European Parliament this week rejected a controversial measure that would have legalized software patents in the European Union. On Wednesday, 648 out of 729 members of the European Parliament voted to reject the proposal, called the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive, which would have widened the extent to which software could be patented.

The story got readers talking, including some who said the resulting lack of patent protection in Europe will diminish incentive to innovate. But reader J.W. disagreed. "People who provide new ideas will do so anyway, they don't need legal crutches to do so," he said. "When the U.S. put a man on the moon--it wasn't the opportunity for patents that took them there."

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