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Microsoft Software Linux

Gentoo Founder on his way to Redmond 527

Posted by timothy
from the ms-could-be-the-world's-largest-foss-company dept.
Rotworm writes "Recently former founder of Gentoo Linux, Daniel Robbins, has managed to procure employment with Microsoft. Robbins describes his position as "helping Microsoft to understand Open Source and community-based projects." Seemingly there's no scandals as Robbins managed to finalize the transfer of all Gentoo's IP to the Gentoo Foundation, Inc."
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Gentoo Founder on his way to Redmond

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  • hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rd4tech (711615) * on Monday June 13, 2005 @06:34PM (#12807777)
    Any idea what his employment contract may hold?
  • by craXORjack (726120) on Monday June 13, 2005 @06:39PM (#12807839)
    I RTFA but it was redundant!

    Seriously, I hope he didn't accept low pay with the promise of stock options like a lot of Microsoft employees have in the past. The day of the Microsoft made millionnaires is over.
  • Isn't this... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Teh_monkeyCode (752769) on Monday June 13, 2005 @06:43PM (#12807888) Homepage
    Isn't this the guy who said that all the profits from the Gentoo Store were going to the Foundation when it actually went to him?
  • Re:Isn't this... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tsugumi (553059) on Monday June 13, 2005 @06:48PM (#12807946)
    Dunno. Definitely the guy who ended up thousands of dollars in debt trying to get a distro made though. I donated through the store in the hope that it went directly to drobbins...
  • Re:When in doubt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 13, 2005 @06:56PM (#12808026)
    Microsoft has headhunted the competition before. This is not new for them or anyone else. The only difference here is that MS has a known, powerful, flexible enemy in Open Source. We're like a hydra; cut off one of our heads, two more will (eventually) grow in its place.

    Plus, the "change things from the inside" thing isn't new either. The MS Macintosh Business Unit, formerly MS Bay, consisted primarily of Mac shareware and commercial SW developers who had been hired to work on Mac Office and Mac IE. These were guys who thought, ate, drank, and slept "Different." They are the reason Mac Office tends to leapfrog Windows Office in features and overall quality with every release, and also why IE on the Mac didn't suck. Anyway, even these guys ended up chugging the Kool-Aid - when Apple started releasing competitive products (most recently Safari), these guys acted as if it was their God-given right to be the exclusive developers of these types of software, going on record in the Mac press, denouncing Apple for daring to create competing products. Somehow they'd gotten into the MS mindset of expecting that their (MS's) stuff was supposed to be the only stuff around to support the OS, or to be treated as first-class citizens. The difference was that Apple didn't have to support this same opinion.

    Back on-topic a bit, I think the gentards have nothing to worry or be ashamed about. Even though he'll probably turn with time, this isn't a pride thing. Maybe he just needs to eat, and wants to use his skills as a means towards that goal (shocking!). Who knows, maybe working for the bad guys really will change them for the better.
  • The Microsoft Memo (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chx1975 (625070) on Monday June 13, 2005 @06:56PM (#12808027)
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.02/microsoft .html [wired.com] remember? OK, not Linus himself, but...
  • by spagetti_code (773137) on Monday June 13, 2005 @06:57PM (#12808030)
    Microsoft dont do anything out of the goodness of their hearts. They are a corporate entity with a fiscal responsibility to their shareholders.

    He will be brought on board to continue the MS strategy of embrace, extend (in a proprietary fashion) then replace. MS do not want to support linux in any way, they want to kill it. Dead. Every linux box sold represents money ripped from their pocket.

    My guess is that this could be something like:
    - get linux to run well on MS virtual machines, so linux can become just an app running under 2k3, and therefore slowely sink into oblivion.
    - work on their command line tools [slashdot.org]. Looks like they have finally realised that the {Li,U}n{u,i}x way of providing powerful command line utilities is actually pretty useful (perhaps learned from the struggle [securityoffice.net] when they first tried to convert hotmail to NT :-).

    Interesting times ahead.

  • I wish him well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by overshoot (39700) on Monday June 13, 2005 @06:57PM (#12808037)
    Dude put some good work into a fine distro, sorry he couldn't make a living at it. I'll never knock anyone for keeping the family fed.

    Anyone else notice that this isn't the first ABQ->Redmond migration for a "distribution" founder?

  • by justrob (445616) on Monday June 13, 2005 @07:06PM (#12808119)
    "Seemingly there's no scandals as Robbins managed to finalize the transfer of all Gentoo's IP to the Gentoo Foundation, Inc."

    This isn't true. He has agreed to, if his lawyer approves the deal, but we are still waiting for him to transfer all IP and the domain name gentoo.org

    Here is the Gentoo Not-for-profit mailing list archive and you'll see there is no mention of it yet.
    http://archives.gentoo.org/ml/gentoo-trustees/ [gentoo.org]

  • Re:ok (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dogtanian (588974) on Monday June 13, 2005 @08:10PM (#12808669) Homepage
    what they are trying to do is to break up the opensource community by hiring all the top talent. If they hire the top leaders and put them in project s that never see the light of day, then they don't have to worry about them as competitors to MS. It is worth the million or two in salary to get a top guy.

    Which can be summed up as

    "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer"

    Surprised no-one else quoted that one first....
  • Re:Internet Explorer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by idonthack (883680) on Monday June 13, 2005 @08:21PM (#12808745)
    How could they make IE better? Why not join the crowd and fully release the source?

    Because it's part of the kernel. ;)
  • skunk works (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zogger (617870) on Monday June 13, 2005 @08:28PM (#12808802) Homepage Journal
    MS is a big company. Lotsa money. I would be surprised if they didn't have a variety of black project operating systems in development simultaneously. Of course Longhorn is their next premier *public* effort, but that doesn't mean they might not be "exploring" other avenues for contingecies sake. It costs them little when it's a business deduction after all.

    Just like apple maintaining an x86 OSX branch for years, "just in case" is a reality that sometimes proves to be useful when you least suspect it.

    So then MS therefore needs d00ds who have a proven track record of original thought as opposed to drudge work. A company needs both kinds, but it has to start with original thinkers before the hard working drudgework drones take over.
  • Hmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by idonthack (883680) on Monday June 13, 2005 @08:32PM (#12808831)
    ...why did you reply to yourself?
  • Re:Ooooook, *scary* (Score:3, Interesting)

    by argent (18001) <peter@NOsPam.slashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Monday June 13, 2005 @08:40PM (#12808884) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, what's next?

    Pink floyd getting back together.
  • former? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SuSEboy (642235) on Monday June 13, 2005 @08:47PM (#12808925) Homepage Journal
    So who is the current founder?
  • Re:Good luck! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by at_slashdot (674436) on Monday June 13, 2005 @09:44PM (#12809325)
    This reminds me of this joke:

    Q: Is it true that in Sovie Russia every peasant will get a tractor from the State?

    A: Yes, it's true, but it's not a tractor it's a bike and they don't give them, they take them away.

    Same with Microsoft:
    Q: Is is true that the Microsoft will give freedom and choice to users for free?

    A: Yes it's true, but it's not for gratis and they don't give it, they take it away.

  • Re:Bad moderation (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 13, 2005 @10:12PM (#12809532)
    Please note the overall tone and the reference to Bill Gates as BillG. Yes folks, you are reading from an active/former employee/contractor of Microsoft.
  • Re:Bad moderation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 13, 2005 @10:53PM (#12809765)
    The whole MS model is broken. There are too many people who want to do too many things for anyone to ever need to worry about 'top talent'.
    Top talent is a lie in the first place, a fantasy of people who believe in heros.

    Who needs that fantasy?

    If you think that any one person in this world is pivotal to open source, then you are fooling yourself. The whole thing is a community of people. Some go, some stay. The community lives.

  • by Slayer_X (141736) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @03:02AM (#12810655) Homepage
    Thanks Danniel! for all your work, the Gentoo community is with you.
  • by flacco (324089) on Tuesday June 14, 2005 @05:55AM (#12811150)
    when the nazi's took over poland, they took thousands of their intellectuals into the woods and shot them. the idea is to demoralize the target population, and depopulate it of intelligent resistance.

    you can't *quite* get away with that in corporate america just yet, but the next best thing, when you have X*10 billion dollars in the bank getting moldy, is just to hire them away.

    sorry to interrupt all the guffawin' and shuckin' and jivin'. carry on with the lame star wars references and other assorted jokery.

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