01.11.09

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Microsoft Pills in eBay’s Punch

Posted in Microsoft at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not one but two pills

Tablets
People rarely forget where they came from

THE issue of influence through recruitment was last mentioned two days ago, with more examples given several months ago. This may lead to a clash of cultures because any employee in any company inevitably becomes an integral part of it. Former colleagues remain friends or contacts and it’s illogical to assume otherwise.

Citing this seminal report from Mary Jo Foley, it is stated elsewhere that eBay too took the pill (Microsoft vice president).

Positronic founder Chris Payne had formerly been Corporate Vice President of Windows Live Search at Microsoft and had also spent 3 years at Amazon.com. He is now Vice President of Search at eBay, and Positronic co-founder Dane Glasgow is Vice President of Engineering at eBay.

According to this other report, it’s not a case of one person alone. It’s actually two Microsoft executives who have just joined eBay.

In 2006, Microsoft search gurus Christopher Payne and Dane Glasgow left Microsoft to start Positronic.net. We’re not all that clear on what Positronic did, the company’s “about” page doesn’t add much detail and Mary Jo Foley describes Positronic’s work as “all about machine-learning and data-mining.”

It’s worth keeping an eye on what eBay does next, from either a technological or diplomatic (e.g. relationships, collaborations) point of view. VMware is a good case study [1, 2, 3, 4], but it’s still ongoing. XenSource is a much better example of vendor capture.

“…[C]ut off Netscape’s air supply.”

Paul Maritz, Vice President, Microsoft (Now VMWare CEO)

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4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 12, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Gravatar

    What are the better alternatives for online payment? I know people using moneybookers.com, but there must still be many other services available even after all the consolidations.

  2. twitter said,

    January 12, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Gravatar

    This is indeed worth watching and looking into. A few years ago, Amazon’s search was essentially given to M$ and small vendors were pushed out in favor of bigger M$ partner types. I’m not sure the timing coincides with Payne’s tenure at Amazon but it’s suspicious and ominous for Ebay. From M$’s perspective, no organization can be too subservient. Ebay is a great vendor of used parts, “naked PCs” and other things a free market delivers that are good for GNU/Linux.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 12, 2009 at 10:05 am

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    Amazon too was captured by Microsoft (to a degree). I wrote a lot about examples. See:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/09/12/nuclear-poison-residue/
    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/12/14/ms-yahoo-amazon-costco/

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 13, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Gravatar

    For future reference, if needed, here is some more information about this:

    Ex-Microsoft search chief sells secretive startup to eBay
    http://www.techflash.com/microsoft/Ex-Microsoft_search_chief_Christopher_Payne_lands_at_eBay37479504.html

    “This might be one of the most secretive acquisitions we’ve come across in some time, as not much was really known about Positronic. Its Web site at one point described the company’s efforts as ““striving to push forward the state of the art in machine learning and computational science.””

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