Old news (Sept 9) but I missed it until today. Found it on Doc's blog. A recruiter from Microsoft sent Eric S Raymond, the Godfather of the Open Source movement, an email suggesting they set up a time to chat about Eric having a career at Redmond. If you haven't already, read Eric's email response. I went looking on Scoble's blog for his reaction but can't find any mention of it. The guy Eric mentions who left Microsoft after talking to him about open source, Stephen Walli, has a blog and provides his side of the story here. He makes this acute observation:
In discussions with friends about the article, it was observed that the type of people leaving now are the sort that question everything and aren't willing to take "no" for an answer. Essentially, these are the sort of people that made the company what it is, and exactly the sort that can't be happy in what it's become.
I never worked in Redmond but I can relate to his frustrations. The Australian Microsoft operation is very similar. It's hard to get time with the folks at the top who can make decisions and there are lots of layers of padding between them and the people on the street. Lots of spreadsheet jockeys covering their asses and "managing upwards". Lots of great people though and none of them "evil" (a few of them clinically insane perhaps, but not John Carpenter evil). It was a great 6 years but I'm having so much more fun now than it's not even comparable. I think it took me a year to get used to being able to just do things without having to check in with five middle managers first.
That's not to say the company isn't turning out some cool shit. XBOX360. TABLET PC. POCKET PC. MEDIA CENTER. Four cool products at one time is nothing to sneeze at.