Thursday’s News Roundup

Video games as a career tool? Apparently. A number of executives believe playing games, "in moderation, and in your free time," as Forbes says, can give you an edge at work. Game players tend to look for challenges, they say, and keep a keen eye on performance metrics. One example: Elliot Noss, CEO of Tucows, plays World of Warcraft for six to seven hours a week. [Forbes]

The federal government needs an average of 140 days to hire someone, and that’s driving the administration’s tech leaders crazy. "When you think about the incredible talent that we need in IT and across the federal government, we need to decrease that hiring time in order to get the very best and brightest into public service," White House Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients told Politico’s Morning Tech. The fix lies in technology, Zients and others believe. Among other things, they’ve revamped [Morning Tech]  

If you’re thinking of starting a business, be aware the rules for exiting have changed. Writing in VentureBeat, Steve Blank says the IPO market’s collapse and the "dysfunctional math in the venture capital community" have made it more difficult to build a large company as opposed to selling it. Without a public market to sell shares to, VCs will want your company sold to a larger firm. Your services will probably not be needed soon after. [VentureBeat]

Yes, Apple’s revenue numbers have been strong – maybe even stronger than Microsoft’s. No, that doesn’t mean there’s a big sinkhole opening up in Redmond. Comparing the performance of the two companies is a bit like comparing, well, apples and oranges. Observers point out that Apple focuses on consumers while Microsoft pursues business customers, and that a true measure would include numbers from OEMs like Dell, HP, and IBM in Microsoft’s performance. [ChannelWeb]

Combining a great marketing move with a great perk, Microsoft will give its employees – all roughly 90,000 of them – Windows Phone 7 devices. [Mashable]

Fitness note: Researchers say working out with the Wii doesn’t equal going to an actual gym. People tend to burn twice as many calories per minute exercising in the real world versus the virtual one, they found. [NY Times]

— Mark Feffer