Working for Google has always been seen as a privilige. Everybody knows about the time you get for working on your 'own' projects and working on the 'Google Campus' should be a big experience.
But the economic downfall seems to have hit Google too. At Christmas most companies tend to give their employees a gift or bonus. Google used to do this with bonusses which could count up to 1000s of dollars. This years Google-employees didn't get a bonus, they got a gift: the G1.
Google hands out the new HTC Dream to its employees. The phone is especcially made for Googlers and has a 'droid' on the back. Google will also see this as a great opportunity to test out the new phone. What's special about this phone is that it is unlocked. This means that the Google employees can pick out their own network provider.
Not all Googlers will get the phone though, since some countries don't support the G1 yet. Employees is those countries will get cash after all, but not the amount they are used to, they will get the equivalent of the money a G1 is worth...
Google announced their gift in a memo to their employees, which is placed below:
The holiday bonus is a Google tradition - it's a great way to thank everyone for their hard work. In the past, we've done this in cash. This year, we've decided to give Googlers a different kind of present - a Dream phone (this is the same device T-Mobile markets as the G1). We're really excited about getting the phone to more Googlers in more countries, and also seeing all the cool new things you do with it.
Shipping these special edition phones in such a short time frame (they were designed especially for Googlers with a 'droid' on the back) and making sure they would work anywhere in the world was no small feat. So a big thank you to the Android and Legal teams for making this happen. While these phones do not have SIM cards, they are unlocked so they can be used with the network provider of your choice. Plus - thanks to more fancy footwork from the Android team - they'll work immediately as WiFi devices!
Sadly, despite all our best efforts, there are some countries - India, China, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Russia, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico, Turkey, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Egypt, Chile, and the Ukraine - where even our legal team could not work their magic. Googlers in these countries will receive the cash equivalent of the phone in their December paychecks, which is about $400 USD. Overall though almost 85% of Googlers globally will be able to receive the phone - including the United States, Western and Central Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Japan.
The holiday gift team in your office will be sending out an email with logistical information on distribution shortly. We know that some of you are already on your holidays - don't worry - your phones will be waiting for you when you come back! For more information, check out the FAQ here.
Some of you will of course be wondering why we decided to change from a cash bonus to the Dream phone. Here are the reasons. First, we've never developed anything like the Android software before and this represented a unique opportunity to celebrate that achievement. Googlers globally have been asking for the Dream phone and we're looking forward to seeing all the different things that you do with them. This is a chance for us to once again dogfood a product and make it even better! Second, as we discussed in our email this week, the current economic crisis requires us to be more conservative about how we spend our money. We felt that giving the Dream phone would be a great holiday present - something we could all celebrate.
Thank you for all that you do to make Google the company that it is. We hope that you will enjoy using your Dream phone in 2009 and have a very happy holiday!"
Just to remind you of the good times, below a video of how Google Campus looks like: