Sam is right. It is a pity. Perhaps I can legitimately question the policy. Perhaps I must if I am to be part of changing "the company, little by little, one day at a time." It is just company policy.
Perhaps I choose to fight different battles or to fight in different ways.
As much as anything, I came Microsoft (just a year and a half ago), to see for myself what it was like from the inside. People talk about it and write about it: Microsoft this.... Microsoft that.... Microsoft, like any corporation, is both an entity unto itself and a collection of individuals. Being one of those individuals certainly provides a unique perspective.
I have some understanding of the things that make Microsoft what it is, both at the large and small scales. I am fascinated by the interaction of the individual and the whole. I am fascinated how this interaction takes place on many scales simultaneously. I am fascinated by the unanticipated things that come into existence due to those interactions.
Am I just along for the ride? Do I just sit and google at the wonderful things going on around me? I will admit that such a posture is a large part of my personality, but it isn't just a mindless empty stare. Sometimes, just sitting and comprehending it ALL seems like the most important thing that can be done. But is it important? It influences my behavior and my behavior influences the whole. Importance is relative.
So what is my goal? What battles do I choose to fight? As you may guess from this discourse, I live in a world of intangibles. The big picture is that everything is connected and that there are no absolutes. In the individual and in the organization, the attitudes "I'm right and you are wrong" and "I'm going to do what I want no matter what that means to you" are at odds with this big picture. Just about every issue that faces humanity is the result of the churn caused by the interaction of these attitudes and the big picture.
These attitudes are prevalent at Microsoft (and lots of other companies, groups, religions, and societies). Little by little, one day at a time, I try to cultivate balance between the big picture and these attitudes.