Will Microsoft cost cuts spare coffee and other perks?

Microsoft's earnings report on Thursday is expected to go hand-in-hand with delays in building construction, plus possible job layoffs. But employee perks (including a Starbucks hot coffee program) look likely to survive.

Times are getting tougher, even at Microsoft. In a recent review of its financial costs, Microsoft figured out it could save $88 million in fiscal year 2010 by getting rid of perks such as a Starbucks hot beverage program ($1 million), food subsidies ($8 million), and a campus shuttle ($14 million), wrote Jeff Tartakoff, a blogger for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Tartakoff obtained the cost breakout on Microsoft's perks by getting hold of an internal PowerPoint presentation. Other items on the list include a towel service ($1 million), catering ($12 million), free beverages ($20 million), and a service dubbed "The Connector" ($13 million) which drives employees to and from work and home.

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He cited an unnamed "person familiar with the situation" as saying that Microsoft has now decided not to actually implement the perks reductions.

But Tartakoff didn't rule out the possibility that rumored job layoffs will really happen at Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft only added 380 employees in November, as opposed to about 1,000 in November.

Moreover, Microsoft is definitely set to delay most of its planned campus expansion program, according to the blogger.

In a separate costs review, Microsoft determined it could save about $82 million in capital expenditures by delaying construction of all new buildings on its Redmond, Washington campus, with the exception of one building, and by not renewing some of its leases when they run out this year and next.

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