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09.18.08

Microsoft Guru Quits, But Where Will He Land?

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Security, Vista at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And former Microsoft employee pays lip service to her old employer

An issue that has been covered quite extensively over the past week [1, 2] is the effect of former Microsoft affiliates or employees landing in other companies. They rarely change their colours (or friends, or interests) overnight. That would be unnatural. There’s concerning precedence too.

Many thanks go to a reader who brought the following short notification to our attention, adding: “Todd Bishop won’t cover Microsoft anymore at the Seattle Post Intelligencer. He was one of my preferred sources in the “mainstream” news, along with Mary Jo Foley and Joe Wilcox.”

Todd Bishop has left the Seattle P-I. While we are making a transition on the Microsoft beat, you will see interim guest posts on this blog.

It will be interesting to see where he ends up, having watched what happened to Peter Galli. Reporting can tough in a world that’s filled with millions of blogs. Also, sellouts are more likely to project Microsoft sympathy. Yes, Microsoft practically pays for bias in the media.

It was only a few days ago that someone from Mozilla did the outrageous thing and praised Microsoft for security. Surprised? Well, that’s what Mozilla gets
for hiring Microsoft employees.

She held out Microsoft, her former employer, as an example.

“The security industry developed a lot more confidence in what Microsoft was doing in security because Microsoft started communicating about it and sharing some of the work that they’re doing,” she said. Holding up Windows Vista, which was developed under Microsoft’s secure development lifecycle, she said, “We get to hear from Microsoft about the work they put into it and all the people they engaged to do consulting work and their secure development lifecycle.”

With all due respect, this is rubbish (as pointed out some days ago) because independent studies have proven this to be false. And yet, coming from a long-time Microsoft employee (part of the security Kool-Aid division), it’s pretty bad, especially when it’s said to be coming from Mozilla. This lends credibility to the Microsoft marketing pitch because it seems independent. It’s almost as though Microsoft speaks while wearing a Mozilla hat.

We previously wrote about Microsoft employees ending in Google. This is bad for many reasons and it’s now possible to find Google engineers dabbling in Microsoft source code (despite the associated problems).

During Google’s launch of its Chrome Web browser, the company went out of its way to acknowledge the debt it owes two open-source projects, Firefox and WebKit. But Microsoft, an uncommon ally in the open-source realm, might also deserve a tip of the hat.

This significantly complicates things for Mac and GNU/Linux ports, which are not there yet (and claimed to be far away). For a person to run something as basic as a Web browser under Wine is an overkill because of performance, reliability, etc. This is not the first example where Google excludes (temporarily at least) GNU/Linux and Mac users, even in actual Web pages. Are they paying back a ‘favour’?

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