Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

September 10, 2005

My MS story

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:25 AM

So a Microsoft vendor employee approached ESR, probably because he hasn’t done his homework, and ESR then reacted like a spoiled brat. Read the two emails – I think it’s obvious who’s the bigger fool in this story.

This and Shachar’s entry reminded me that MS tried to recruit me as well a few years ago, before I came to work for IBM at the Haifa Research Lab. I spent a pleasant three hours interviewing at MS for a position as a “full time consultant on the Linux system”, whatever that means (what it probably meant at the time was “how can we learn from Linux and make better products that compete with it?”) . I don’t remember much from the interview, except that I gave an off-the-cuff lecture on the design and implementation of syscalltrack. Hey, they asked 🙂

Eventually I decided that working for MS is not something that I could do with a clean conscience and told them so. Around the same time I accepted IBM’s offer. When MS heard about it, one of the guys who interviewed me, who previously used to work for the lab, called me and passionately tried to get me to change my mind. His main selling point was that IBM research plays, but only at MS do you get to write real software. Considering my usual opinion of MS’s software, I’d say this was an interesting, but less than persuasive, argument…


  1. Incidentally…
    …there are some really hilarious responses to this M$-ESR hooha over at Figuiere’s blog: . Really… please, M$, please hire ESR! But I wonder if ESR’s unwilling to join M$ simply because he’ll actually have to _do_ stuff at M$, as opposed to whatever place he’s now employed at, where he can earn money just by sprinkling crud on his own blog…
    And I must confess: some years back, I also received an M$ recruitment mail from one Julie Meyer (iirc). I didn’t reply.
    — bi (

    Comment by Anonymous — September 10, 2005 @ 9:53 AM | Reply

  2. Heh. ESR must just be eating this up. I really wish people would stop talking to him. He hasn’t provided anything remotely useful to the OSS community since 1997 or so. :/

    Comment by spot — September 10, 2005 @ 7:09 PM | Reply

    • There’s an old proverb, “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and possibly be considered a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”…

      Comment by mulix — September 11, 2005 @ 3:39 PM | Reply

  3. what’s your usual opinion of MS’s software?

    Comment by Anonymous — September 11, 2005 @ 2:40 PM | Reply

    • Highly unfavorable. Overly complex, pretty where it should be robust, and entirely lacking in security.

      Comment by mulix — September 11, 2005 @ 3:38 PM | Reply

  4. Recently they went for me as well… I was not sure, though, whether it was a spam or a troll until I saw the exact wording in ESR’s response.
    At least I am in a good company 🙂

    Comment by omerm — September 13, 2005 @ 9:41 AM | Reply

    • How did you respond then? 🙂
      — bi (

      Comment by Anonymous — September 13, 2005 @ 10:00 AM | Reply

      • Asked them some stupid question and waited for a response – which never came.

        Comment by omerm — September 13, 2005 @ 10:34 AM

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: