Read a good book lately? If not, try “Social Responsibilities of Business Corporations. Sorry to disappoint you Kindle and Nook junkies but it likely isn’t available for download since it was published in 1971. Amazing isn’t it? Corporate Social Responsibility (we call it Corporate Citizenship here at Microsoft), isn’t a new millennium-generation-unique concept and it isn’t something just the Ben and Jerry’s of the world think about

My partner, an ice cream junkie, will buy Ben and Jerry’s every time. Sure, the wild concoction of flavors has something to do with it but the company’s commitment to “doing good” is his real driver. He trusts Ben and Jerry’s because they combine good flavor with doing good.

We all tend to trust people and institutions we see as “doing good” but sadly we are currently facing a global trust crisis. A lack of trust among individuals, between and within governments and certainly a lack of trust in corporations.

Microsoft recently released our 2010 Annual Report – as a publicly held company we have been issuing these reports since going public in 1986. What is different this year is that we released our Microsoft 2010 Citizenship Report at the same time. Why should stakeholders - investors, public officials, consumers, advocates, the media - only get half the story? These reports bring you inside Microsoft.

I sure hope you will take the time to read the report, and learn more about our Citizenship efforts. We work in partnership with a variety of private, public and nonprofit sector organizations to train people for 21st century jobs, help teachers gain the computer skills they need to succeed in the classroom, inspire students and develop software with significantly improved energy efficiency. I am proud of our progress.

As a company, we have signed up for a lot. We have endorsed the UN Millennium Development Goals and the UN Global Compact and you can see how we’re doing in meeting those commitments in this report. We’re also reporting using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework – to help readers evaluate our progress against that of other companies.

We need to do better in some really important areas – such as: reducing the carbon footprint of our operations; realizing our rock solid commitment to diversity and inclusion; and, driving greater accountability and responsibility across our supply chain. However, I believe we are presenting a balanced report.

Corporate Citizenship (Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR or whatever you call it) is a journey not a destination. I would love to hear your views on our report, e-mail us at: mcitizen@microsoft.com.

You can review the 2010 Citizenship report online and you can also download a copy here.