Is Microsoft Buying the Community?

I love the blogosphere – specially for technical information and news.  My guess is that probably 75% of my “reading” comes from blogs and the rest from magazines such as MSDN, aspnetPRO, Visual studio Magazine, etc…  (plug: my article just made the cover story on asp.netPRO)

As a .net developer, I read these blogs:

  1. Scott Hanselman – very ALT, check his tool list
  2. Phil Haack – Great MVC content and a cool last name :)
  3. Scott Gutherie – the alpha dog and must-read blog
  4. Rob ConeryMVC storefront series kicks ass
  5. Matt Berseth – the best looking demos and loves jQuery

There are a lot more but these are the ones at the top of my stack.  You can see all the dev feeds I subscribe to over here.

My point is that a lot of people read the above blogs and are influenced by them.  The problem is that many of these bloggers were not affiliated with Microsoft and some actually were very critical of Microsoft, but now they work there (Matt doesn’t).  To be honest, for the most part, they all seem objective and to an extent critical of Microsoft.  But how long will that last?

It’s ok for me to say something negative about the IE team, because I don’t work for Microsoft.  But if I work down the hall from the entire, that will make for a very uncomfortable elevator ride.  So, I might be inclined to tone down my criticism or even entirely eliminate it (and that is not a good thing).

I am really glad to have the likes of Rob Conery and Scott Hanselman working for Microsoft and helping the company innovate.  But it just seems that lately Microsoft has been hiring a lot of the dissidents.  So if you want to work for Microsoft, create a blog and start criticizing.  Don’t get me wrong though, these guys are very talented (VERY), so you have to have something of value to say.

I got a job offer from Microsoft several years ago and as much as I would have loved to work for them, I couldn’t.  I couldn’t do it because it required moving to Redmond.  Several of the guys mentioned above don’t even live in Redmond – Rob Conery lives in Hawaii (how lucky) and Scott lives in Oregon.  This just tells you that Microsoft is bending backwards to acquire these alpha geeks.

So, who will be hired next?  Ayende RahienJeff Atwood from Coding Horror?  Is this a good strategy on Microsoft’s side?

And if you guys are reading this post, I would like to hear your opinion.  How will you stay objective?  Will you still call out Microsoft publicly?  Or are you going to be on the defensive and be a mouthpiece for the mothership?

Off topic: Why the hell are 109 THOUSANDS people reading coding horror???

Fine Print: I am a huge Microsoft fan but have been disappointed by the lack of recent innovation (except for asp.net mvc)