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Microsoft GNU is Not Unix It's funny.  Laugh.

ESR Gets Job Offer From Microsoft 642

epsalon writes "Eric S. Raymond, the well known Open Source Evangelist, recently received a job offer from Microsoft, that he strongly refused. Is this another attempt to lure Open Source figures or just ignorance?" From his post: "I called [the Microsoft HR rep], who told me my name had been passed to him by his research team. I indicated to him that I thought somebody was probably having a little joke at his expense, and promised him an email reply."
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ESR Gets Job Offer From Microsoft

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  • Interesting (Score:3, Funny)

    by keesh ( 202812 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:42AM (#13519784) Homepage
    Also, RMS got a boob job and Ben Collins had his hair cut. Front page news at 11.

    Is slashdot a celebrity gossip site for geeks now or something?
    • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ultranova ( 717540 )

      Is slashdot a celebrity gossip site for geeks now or something?

      Seeing how the main attraction of Slashdot is the ability to discuss about the story, and seeing how quite a few stories are about various famous or infamous people and organizations, I'd say yes.

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:42AM (#13519787) Homepage Journal
    MS: Sit in this office. Call no one. Write nothing. Issue no memos. Reply to no email.

    ESR: I can't do that?

    MS: Can't handle the isolation?

    ESR: No, I have to sound off every now and then or people will forget about me!

    MS: Well... that's what were actually shooting for.

    • by madprof ( 4723 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:19PM (#13520183)
      As much as he's no doubt done a lot, he could do with toning his ego down a bit.

    • by msuzio ( 3104 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @01:18PM (#13520753) Homepage
      I'd certainly chip in to get him to shut the fuck up for once.
      • by pohl ( 872 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @01:40PM (#13520966) Homepage
        I'd certainly chip in to get him to shut the fuck up for once.

        ...says yet-another-blogger.

        • Pretty please?
          With so many 3 and 4-digit uids, Your Honorable Sirs must be white of hair and wise of head, so can you all tell me why are you bashis His Honorable Gunman ESR?
          • You may, good sir! (Score:3, Interesting)

            by spun ( 1352 ) *
            I met ESR in Hawaii. He was on his way back from a conference in Japan. He claimed that Japanese women found him irresistable, which I found kind of amusing. He's quite a character and a lot of fun to bar hop with, but he's an easy target to poke fun at, as is anyone who thinks very highly of themselves. Many old timers think he's all talk and no action, but there's no denying that he did quite a bit to popularize Linux early on.

            • He's an intelligent and thoughtful guy, and certainly worth whatever fame he's managed to acquire. It's not that the man doesn't have skills, it's just that the sheer amount of geekiness (the kind that gets you laughed at) outweighs what valuable skills he possesses. Nobody would make fun of Linus for being as geeky as ESR, for example, because his skill is extraordinary enough to justify it.
              • by Anonymous Coward
                ESR doesn't deserve any of the publicity that he's received over the years. It's not just that he is completely untalented as a programmer, it's not even that he doesn't realize how untalented he is, it's that he's such a fucking nutbar and people repeatedly point to his inane tripe when they say, "See! Open Source can work!" He is completely ill-suited for a public representative of free software.

                And if you think if he were more talented it would be ok, then I guess you aren't very familiar with RMS or The
  • Job offer? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 312621 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:42AM (#13519788)
    Since when is a request for an interview a "job offer"?
    • Re:Job offer? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Krach42 ( 227798 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:06PM (#13520070) Homepage Journal
      "Microsoft tries to recruit me" title from TFA. Now, agreed that doesn't say "job offer" at all.

      But considering that I, also as an open source developer, with a lot of Computing experience was practically guarenteed a position somewhere at Microsoft when they called me to try and recruit me. Somehow, I don't think it would be that far of a stretch to say, that if ESR had expressed any interest in getting hired by Microsoft that they would have picked him up right away.

      And just for the record: How do you "buyout" a community that makes Open Source software to ensure that they can't continue working? Hire them into your fold... for ANYTHING, and then tell them that they can't work on FOSS as a matter of company policy.

      THAT is how you buyout open source software.
    • Re:Job offer? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Foofoobar ( 318279 )
      Yeah, I know lots of companies that interview employees they never intend to hire. Happens all the time. In fact, they just waste valuable employee time running these interviews for people they never plan to hire because they've nothing better to do.

      Well, now that I have talked through it, maybe you're right. :)
    • Re:Job offer? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by njcoder ( 657816 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:47PM (#13520461)
      "Since when is a request for an interview a "job offer"?"

      Since the person responding to it seems to think he's a lot more important than he is. I'm sorry but this is just plain sad. Maybe it's a bit humorous that ESR got a standard HR templated letter before the HR person did the research to see who this person is but ESR's response is actually quite sad. Starts off the same way as most ESR stories start off. ESR misinterprets what's going on but uses that to make a stand and pump himself up. Microsoft's worse nightmare? Please. If I had to pick Microsoft's worse nightmare it would be someone like Oracle, Sun, IBM, RedHat or some company like that. They have caused a lot more damage to MS's bottom line and trouble for them. Linus definately has made a few MS exec's wake up screaming "Mommy" more than ESR. Worst? Not by a long-shot.

      Open Source isn't a company but it seems people like ESR have decided they've been promoted to upper management and spend more of their time being advocates than developers. While I don't always agree with what Linus says, he's at least a respectable leader in that he is still active in Open Source development. People like ESR have developed into loudmouths who have tried to capitalize on some of their open source achievements but gave up on working on open source software. This is probably the biggest threat to open source in my opinion.

      I'm sorry to Eric and his fan base but getting a form letter from some HR person, posting it along with an over the top reply on your blog and having your fans talk it up and post it on slashdot doesn't keep you relevant. Do Something.

      If MS was really trying to recruit ESR for the important person he is, they would have contacted him more directly and with a more personalized letter. Either this is someone making a mistake, or MS did want to hire him, they just don't think he's all that important to waste 5 minutes writing a letter.

  • by Engineer-Poet ( 795260 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:42AM (#13519789) Homepage Journal
    "It's funny. Laugh" should have been at the top of the totem pole.
  • Tell us how you really feel!
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:43AM (#13519791) Journal
    I am the guy who responded to Craig Mundie's "Who are you?" with "I'm your worst nightmare", and that I've in fact been something pretty close to your company's worst nightmare since about 1997.

    How terrible [] it has been for them, to have this guy as their worst nightmare.

    What a pompous ass.

    • How terrible it has been for them, to have this guy as their worst nightmare. What a pompous ass.

      Excuse please, but what possible point could you be making by comparing stock price of Microsoft with the stock price of a dot-bomb company whose stock symbol happens to look like "linux"? Yes, they're _a_ vendor of Linux solutions. Are you of the mistaken impression that the entire Linux industry somehow tracks into that stock price, or were you perhaps trying to imply that it's relevant somehow?
    • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:49AM (#13519862) Journal

      What a pompous ass.

      Indeed. He actually used the words "piss on Microsoft's grave". That (and the preceding paragraph) says lots about his professionalism and conduct.

      The nearest example I could relate to would be getting a job offer (which isn't what this was either, btw) from the RNC. As much of a die hard liberal and Democrat as I am (and given that politics matters a lot more then software, imho anyway) I would not use this type of language in declining such a job offer.

      Pompous ass sounds about right.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:07PM (#13520075)
        I would use that language, and I worked for Microsoft in the past. I was stupid and left during the dot-com boom, thinking that the new dot-coms would offer better growth (I was wrong!).

        Anyway, if approached by Microsoft today to come back, I would use language similar to his, only I would indicate different reasoning: their current policy shift away from pro-consumer, and restricting the user at every turn; treating every single customer like a criminal. Not allowing de-activation of Windows for license transfers. Implementing DRM throughout the OS. Suing customers who switch away from Windows, or sell old, retired licenses on eBay. Suing college students who resell UNOPENED academic licensing after Microsoft and their resellers refuse to honor the 30-day money-back guarantee, then when they settle out of court after being countersued for breach of contract, pay up big and then bind the customer to an NDA to hide the evil.

        Fuck Microsoft. Really. This is coming from a former Microserf, and a former Microsoft fan.
        • Really; no offence, but the stereotype low-end (i.e. not management, etc.) Microsoft employee is out of university; smart but naive and willing to drink the Bill Gates Kool Aid.

          Microsoft were unethical and quite willing to scre over people 10 or 15 years ago. If they've done more, it's only because they were in the position to do so. What's happened is that you've grown up a bit, and the scales have fallen from your eyes; you're seeing MS *then* as your old naive self remembers them, not with your current
      • I thought the same thing.

        While you may completely diagree with their policy and think that the company is shitty, why do anything other than take the high road.

        "Thanks but no thanks"

        Then you don't look like a twat.
    • by NicodemusPrime ( 836605 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:01PM (#13520015)
      What a pompous ass.

      I agree. That was very un-professional of him. If I were an IBM exec, I would be a little upset about that name drop. I love Linux but stuff like this is holding it back. Do we really want this to be the public perception of our Linux all-stars? What a self-absorbed asshole. He even referred to his own writings as propaganda.
    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:04PM (#13520039) Homepage Journal
      From TFA, speaketh the Raymond:
      You've maybe heard about this "open source" thing? You get one guess who wrote most of the theory and propaganda for it and talked IBM and Wall Street and the Fortune 500 into buying in.
      He thinks he talked IBM and Wall Street and the Fortune 500 into buying in? He certainly campaigned, for better or worse, but it's hard to believe that the only reason big corporations signed on was ESR. That they didn't hear about the benefits of FOSS from within their own organizations. That, indeed, someone with the diplomacy and tact exhibited in this message, not to mention his threats against Bruce Perens, would be the person able to convince a stalling CEO/CTO to give FOSS a try. It's also a little ironic - the rants against Stallman and the FSF of the "Show them the code" type constituted the one thing that the OSI never really did (and the FSF was doing very well.)

      Well, whatever. I don't want to sound ungrateful for ESR's very real efforts, but the guy's credibility tends to be undermined whenever he comes up with this kind of thing. The letter to Microsoft is rude. It's pompous. It brings up an image of delusions of grandeur. It's a good thing he's no longer OSI head-honcho, IMO, and I fear that he set the wrong tone for what was to come.

    • sulli, you rawk!

      oh and i love this part:

      and talked IBM and Wall Street and the Fortune 500 into buying in

      i'm sorry... but this is just ridiculous.

      yeah... ESR: get over yourself... sheesh... i get those kinds of emails 3 or 4 times a day. they aren't job offers.

      *wonders if ESR jerks off to Revolution OS []*-- eeewww... sorry about that dreadful image
  • Dinner time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:43AM (#13519792) Journal
    [grin] Would *you* dine with the devil ?

    Given that I'm constantly being told how bad the IT job-market is, I suspect most would... Now Eric's made a chunk of change out of being an OS advocate (I think it was Redhat that gave him a load of shares), but I'm sure MS is in the position to offer seriously tempting offers to just about anyone. Kudos to him for sticking by his principles...

  • Well Known ? (Score:3, Informative)

    by barath_s ( 609997 ) <> on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:43AM (#13519793)
    May have been my ignorance, but I hadn't heard of him before :

    His page : []

  • Sounds arrogant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:43AM (#13519796)
    If you had bothered to do five seconds of background checking, you

    might have discovered that I am the guy who responded to Craig
    Mundie's "Who are you?" with "I'm your worst nightmare", and that I've
    in fact been something pretty close to your company's worst nightmare
    since about 1997. You've maybe heard about this "open source" thing?
    You get one guess who wrote most of the theory and propaganda for it
    and talked IBM and Wall Street and the Fortune 500 into buying in.
    But don't think I'm trying to destroy your company. Oh, no; I'd be
    just as determined to do in any other proprietary-software monopoly,
    and the community I helped found is well on its way to accomplishing
    that goal.

    Pride goeth before a fall. The classy thing to do would be to thank the person (whose v- address signifies that they're a vendor, in this case a headhunter) and decline politely, then make your plans to piss on Gates's grave or whatever floats your boat.
  • ACCEPT (Score:4, Funny)

    by Karem Lore ( 649920 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:43AM (#13519798)
    Under the following conditions:

    1) Your office filetypes are made public

    2) Your publicises the OS system server calls.

    3) Stop funding biased reports.

    4) Hey, while your at it: open-source Windows OS (all of them)...

  • by byteCoder ( 205266 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:44AM (#13519804) Homepage
    Not to burst ESR's bubble, but it's not a job offer. It's simply a Microsoft recruiting vendor trolling for people who might be interested.

    I get a similar e-mail every few months.
  • That this was a joke someone at Microsoft was playing on the "new guy". I'd hate to think there's actually someone there that could be that clueless.

  • by nothingx ( 809091 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:44AM (#13519809)
    Not surprising, really... With all the good people Microsoft's losing to Google, someone's got to pick up the slack.
  • and (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:44AM (#13519813)
    how about asking bill to join the openoffice team?
  • by screevo ( 701820 ) <`screevo' `at' `'> on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:44AM (#13519815) Homepage Journal
    George Bush offers Michael Moore a cabinet position. Hilary Clinton becomes spokeswoman for Rockstar Games. Tipper Gore and Dee Snider release a duet album.
  • Hire their leaders.
  • Oblig ref. (Score:2, Funny)

    by BayBlade ( 749886 )

    I remeber this episode! ESR takes the job after Microsft offers to give ESR's son a "real life" and wipe everyone's memory.

  • Sashclode (Score:5, Funny)

    by tehshen ( 794722 ) <> on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:45AM (#13519830)
    On the day *I* go to work for Microsoft, faint oinking sounds will be heard from far overhead, the moon will not merely turn blue but develop polkadots, and hell will freeze over so solid the brimstone will go superconductive.

    Apparently he was also going to put in "and Slashdot begins using CSS", but took it out at the last minute.
  • ESR Offer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TomTraynor ( 82129 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:45AM (#13519831) Homepage
    It may not be a joke on the part of MS. Think about it, how do you shut down the threat of Open Source? Starve it of resources. Now what are the resources? The people who are like ESR. Put it very bluntly this is war and MS is determined to deny the enemy (Linux) the materials (people) to wage war.
    • Re:ESR Offer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thesandtiger ( 819476 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:42PM (#13520407)
      The people who are like ESR

      You mean people too dumb to realize that the email was a template sent from a headhunter who is contracted to, but doesn't actually work as an employee of Microsoft?

      Or do you mean people who are so absolutely lacking in sense and diplomacy that they go off like a loon on something like this, giving their "enemies" perfect ammunition in the form of "Gee, you're really thinking of open source stuff, huh? Well, you know... This guy (hands out a copy of this rant) is one of the key people behind that whole thing, and he doesn't exactly come off as stable, you know? Do you really want to trust your business to that guy? Or would you rather trust it to a company like us, with a long history and billions of dollars that isn't going anywhere?"

      Or perhaps you mean people who are so self-absorbed that they dismiss the work of the entire OS community and take credit for their work?

      Or maybe you meant someone who is so freaking delusional that he thinks he singlehandedly talked the Fortune 500 into examining open source?

      I'm no MS fangirl, but jesus, if this is an example of a FOSS evangelist... There's a rather serious image issue, dontcha think? "Starving" the FOSS movement of resources like ESR might not be a bad idea.
  • Faberge egghead like Nathan Myhrvold was. No one I've known who worked at Microsoft really knew what Nathan did there other than make oracular pronouncements, tout his educational accomplishments and collect a large salary. Nice work if you can get it.

  • by kote-men-do ( 881870 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:47AM (#13519850)

    "I'd thank you for your offer of employment at Microsoft, except that it indicates that either you or your research team (or both) couldn't get a clue if it were pounded into you with baseball bats. What were you going to do with the rest of your afternoon, offer jobs to Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds?"

    Right, because we all know ESR is on the same level with those two guys because he's responsible for uh... What exactly did he do?

    Obligatory "Everboby loves Eric Raymond": the-code []

  • Don't get me wrong, I dislike ESR as much as the next guy [], but even I have to admit his response is hilarious.
  • by Satai ( 111172 ) *
    I really wish ESR would stop claiming to speak for the Open Source community if he is going to behave in this fashion.

    RMS [], while a bit self-admittedly silly at times, at least conducts himself in a more courteous and polite fashion.

    This is but one of the many non-idealogical reasons that I prefer to think of myself in the Free Software Community, rather than the Open Source Community.
    • Re:sigh (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jay Maynard ( 54798 )
      Merciful $DEITY. TOu claim a moonbat like RMS as your idol and believe that ESR having fun casts discredit on the open source community?

      Render unto me a ****ing break.

      Anyone who's read ESR's writings knows that this is definitely not the way he deals with the world in general. He's a professional to the core. This situation was simply too funny to pass up the opportunity.

      I would have been much more restrained, myself, but then I can't afford to burn bridges. ESR's bridges with Microsoft were smoldering ash
      • Re:sigh (Score:3, Insightful)

        It isn't a matter of burning bridges. It's a matter of ESR being (for better or worse, to whatever degree) a public voice for the OS community.

        He is putting himself forward as an evangelist, a mouthpiece, and he should know better than to behave like a whack-job.

        I can very easily see ways that companies such as MS could spin this to make the OS community look like a bunch of loons. "Do you really want to trust your business to a guy who goes off like (hands out letter) this to something like a form letter f
  • by ellem ( 147712 ) <> on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:49AM (#13519865) Homepage Journal
    you came off like a professional and stable person. thank goodness you are taking it upon yourself to represent the OS movement. certainly many other professional people will want to join you.
    • Re:Well done ESR (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Krach42 ( 227798 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:10PM (#13520106) Homepage Journal
      you came off like a professional and stable person.

      Really... um... did you EXPECT ESR to react in a rational and polite manner?

      It's like George Bush offering a job to Michael Moore. What do you think Michael Moore would do? Politely decline and keep it private?

      Hell no!

      That's the thing with vocal individuals... they're really loud.
  • ESR's only valid response should have been to accept an interview and show up roaring drunk.
  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <> on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:50AM (#13519882) Homepage Journal
    Look at his email. He takes credit for an entire movement? Cut me a break. His cathedral and bazaar paper was a bunch of pot smoking nonsense. What a blow hard. What did he write that was so amazing or complicated? His web site is all "I contributed to, was in a meeting with..."

    The guy is a total fraud.
    • "His cathedral and bazaar paper was a bunch of pot smoking nonsense."

      Of everything ESR has done, for better or for worse, "The Cathedral and The Bazaar" is probably his best work. It was very good, solid writing. Calling it "pot smoking nonsense" indicates you either haven't read it, or just don't understand it.
  • could be a trend (Score:5, Interesting)

    by paulbd ( 118132 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:51AM (#13519890) Homepage

    This happened to me recently as well. I am not as well known as ESR in general linux circles, but those of you who mess around with audio software on Linux probably know me as the author of both JACK and Ardour. MS called me 10 days ago about a job, and emailed me again yesterday. The caller indicated that he knew all about my work on linux audio, and my feelings about MS, but assured me that "MS was changing". I was sent a URL for an PR/newswire "article" suggesting that MS was moving "toward open source".

    Like ESR, I indicated to them that Microsoft was a company that I could never consider working for, under any circumstances whatsoever.

    • Re:could be a trend (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Krach42 ( 227798 )
      I'll take the opposite side of the coin.

      I might be better known in the linux circles, just because of the publicity that CherryOS gave the PearPC community.

      I was sick of working for $8/hour with the skills that I had, or worse working piecemeal at a job that was dirty and annoying for at one point $500 a month because there wasn't any other work that I could have done. So when Microsoft called, I was willing to go work for them.

      While they say they're working towards Open Source, they're not. Many parts of
    • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:51PM (#13520493)
      I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft is seeing how many open source people will succumb to high paying jobs with nice stock options, though it was silly to contact Eric because there was 100% probability he would just flame them, use it to pump up his ego and be his usual publicity hound self.

      If they identify a lot of open source contributors who are struggling to make ends meet working in the open source world and hire them they both reduce contributions to open source, and they make open source look bad. In particular they are testing to see if people will sell out and sell open source down the river in exchange for piles of cash. Their coffers are deep enough they could hire a lot of struggling open source developers with ease.

      They kind of did this to OpenGL a while ago, hiring Kurt Akeley, David Blythe and Michael Cohen in particular. Those people were faced with clinging to the sinking ship that is SGI and OpenGL or sell out to Microsoft and DirectX which totally dominates the desktop and gaming. They both get good researchers and they drain talent away from OpenGL in hopes of pushing it further in to irrelevance.

      If you hop in to the wayback machine they did the same thing to Borland, hiring all their top people just to put them out to pasture.
      • Re:could be a trend (Score:4, Informative)

        by byteherder ( 722785 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @01:08PM (#13520638)
        If you hop in to the wayback machine they did the same thing to Borland, hiring all their top people just to put them out to pasture.

        Microsoft completely raided the Borland C++ compiler development team.
        Borland had the best product and Microsoft's was a crappy also-ran.
        After the raid, Microsoft had the best product and Borland never recovered.
  • by tdvaughan ( 582870 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:52AM (#13519898) Homepage

    My wife, upon hearing of this, suggested that if something like this could happen maybe I haven't made enough trouble for Microsoft lately, and I'm slipping off their radar. She might have a point...

    Come on, ESR is pretty much off everyone's radar at the moment and has been for some time. The problem is that he doesn't DO anything much [] - as opposed to RMS and Linus who are of continuing significance. Seriously, aside from posting about gun rights and racial IQ differences on his blog, what does ESR get up to these days that anyone really cares about?

  • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:57AM (#13519962)
    The recruiter is just doing his job. Why abuse the guy?

    As big as Raymond thinks that he is, bullshitting with IBM execs and "maintaining" the jargon file doesn't make you a B-list celebrity.

    I've always found the the way that people treat waiters, clerical staff, etc reveals alot about that person's character. Raymond's self-aggrandizing, insulting and borderline abusive reply says nearly all that needs to be said about him.
  • Misleading (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:59AM (#13519982) Journal
    ESR got an unsolicited form letter from a recruiting vendor doing the email equivalent of cold-calling -- otherwise known as "Spamming".

    Of course, his response was humorous, and possibly therefore worthy of /. attention, but please. Spare us.

    I would rather have seen an "unsubscribe" reply... with a followup in case he gets another email from the vendor.
  • by thrillbert ( 146343 ) * on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:59AM (#13519991) Homepage
    Below is the set of emails of when MS tried to recruit me. Read from bottom up since that's how the emails were actually sent.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: James Hunt
    To: 'Mauricio '
    Sent: Monday, April 24, 2000 9:46 AM
    Subject: RE: UNIX Opportunities at Microsoft - WebTV

    Thank you for the quick reply. I respect an individual that sticks to
    their morals. Take care.


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Mauricio [ [mailto]
    > Sent: Saturday, April 22, 2000 1:51 PM
    > To: James Hunt
    > Subject: Re: UNIX Opportunities at Microsoft - WebTV
    > James
    > Thank you for taking the time to look at my resume and to send me the
    > description for this job. Unfortunately, being an advocate of open source,
    > it would be against my morals to work for the Anti-Christ. But I do
    > appreciate you having taken the time to email me.
    > Regards,
    > Mauricio
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: James Hunt
    > To:
    > Sent: Friday, April 21, 2000 12:15 PM
    > Subject: UNIX Opportunities at Microsoft - WebTV
    > > Hi Mauricio,
    > >
    > > I am interested in your background for our full-time UNIX/Solaris sys.
    > admin
    > > position at Mircosoft.
    > >
    > > This position is within the Network Operations Center of our WebTV
    > division
    > > which is a 100% Solaris shop, supporting more than 1 million
    > > We are located at the brand new Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus in
    > Mountain
    > > View, along with several other Microsoft divisions (5 buildings).
    > >
    > > If you are interested, I would like to set up a time for us to speak via
    > > phone. Simply reply to this message or call me at (650) 693 3542.
    > >
    > > I have also attached the job description. >
    > >
    > > Kindest Regards,
    > >
    > > James
    > >
    > >
    > > James Hunt
    > > Microsoft - WebTV
    > > Technical Recruiter
    > > []
    > > []

    Film at 11!
  • How much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by qwijibo ( 101731 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @11:59AM (#13519994)
    I'm not surprised to see such a response from ESR. I would at least want to discuss how much M$ is willing to pay. Being paid an astronomical sum to subvert your enemy from the inside would strike me as having significant job satisfaction potential.
  • by RexRhino ( 769423 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:01PM (#13520013)
    Here is a small digest of the reply to Microsoft:

    "WHAT? You don't know me? Why, I am famous. Yes I am so, so famous! You must be an idiot if you don't know my name! Why I am your worse nightmare! I said that in a very famous online flame war! I am the famous open source guy! I am up there with Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds. You have heard of them, but you never head of me? But I am famous! Your an idiot if you don't know who I am!"

    What a pompous ass!

    Can't we get some open source advocates with charisma? Maybe we could all pitch in and hire an out of work TV actor to be our open source spokesperson, instead of the usual juvenile socially disaffected geeks.
  • by lildogie ( 54998 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:02PM (#13520019)
    Microsoft says Dr. Kai-Fu Lee shouldn't go to work for Google, in part, because the Dr. has knowledge of Microsoft's proprietary recruiting strategies.

    Maybe they mean that, after working at Microsoft, he knows what _not_ to do.
  • Steve Ballmer and Eric Raymond have the exact same personality.

    Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.

    Eric should go work for Microsoft. He fits right in.

  • What a tool. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:19PM (#13520176) Homepage Journal
    I'd rather work for Microsoft than have anything to do with someone who writes an e-mail like that and is proud of himself after doing so.

  • by Gruneun ( 261463 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:23PM (#13520212)
    I've in fact been something pretty close to your company's worst nightmare since about 1997... wrote most of the theory and propaganda for [open source] and talked IBM and Wall Street and the Fortune 500 into buying in...I'd be just as determined to do in any other proprietary-software monopoly.

    MS Exec: "Dear Lord, this guy is full of the worst concoction of bullshit and self-importance I've ever seen. We have to get him a position in marketing."
  • by FhnuZoag ( 875558 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:51PM (#13520491)
    Really, the guy is a freaking liability. The only things he can say now is worthless flamebait, and he hasn't made a positive contribution to F/OSS for an age. If he takes the Microsoft job, he might get Microsoft to understand free software a bit better, or he might just drive a few microsoft guys insane. We can't lose!
  • by blibbler ( 15793 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @12:58PM (#13520553)
    After reading this, it is not difficult to understand why Open Source is not treated seriously. That ESR was offered a job at Microsoft is inherently interesting and amusing; his (public) reply makes him sound like a 14 year old boy trying to impress his friends with false stories of sexual prowess.
  • by blueZhift ( 652272 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @01:49PM (#13521045) Homepage Journal
    A few years ago I got an interview with Microsoft and on the whole it very interesting. They flew me out to Redmond and footed the bill for everything. I didn't get the job, but I did meet some interesting people and on the whole had a good time. Next time ESR, go talk to them first and then refuse. Freebies don't pop up everyday you know! ;)
  • by melted ( 227442 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @02:17PM (#13521248) Homepage
    That was just a little probing. After that he'd have to do a couple phone interviews, and after phone interviews (if he passes them) he'd have to go through a six-hour MS interview gauntlet.

    Job offer comes if you successfully complete a six-hour interview, and he'd probably be rejected during phone interview without further consideration. I seriously envy the guy. He thinks so much about himself. Humility be damned.
  • by krygny ( 473134 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @02:29PM (#13521358)

    Steve Balmer: "Please tell me you didn't try to recruit Eric Raymond."

    Mike Walters: "It was Eric Raymond."

    Steve Balmer does his Bobby Knight imitation.

  • A joke? (Score:3, Funny)

    by callipygian-showsyst ( 631222 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @02:45PM (#13521488) Homepage
    I thought somebody was probably having a little joke at his expense

    And a pretty funny one, too! If all it takes to get Eric's knickers in a knot is getting a form letter from a company recuiter (which he calls a "job offer"--makes you wonder how inflated the rest of his claims are!), then this is much too easy!

    I suspect he'll start getting lots of calls from every fast-food joint and Starbucks around the country! And he'll be equally mad that *they've* never heard of him!

  • by Skapare ( 16644 ) on Friday September 09, 2005 @04:32PM (#13522368) Homepage

    ... is to tie up as many open source people under non-compete agreements [] as they (MSFT) can. Not only can they (open source people) not contribute while working for Microsoft, they can't contribute thereafter, either. And that's for contributions to either OSS or Google [] (kill two birds with one hire).

We were so poor we couldn't afford a watchdog. If we heard a noise at night, we'd bark ourselves. -- Crazy Jimmy