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Redmond Wants a Few Good (Linux) Men

Dec 11, 1999, 03:18 (80 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Emmett Plant)

By Emmett Plant
Linux Today Editor

Since I live on the East coast of the United States, it's usually my job to catch the early morning press releases, articles and job postings.

At Linux Today, we make a strong point of offering the Linux community news, reviews and commentary they can use. Our jobs wire is a popular extension of this focus and we hope that Linux programmers, administrators and other Linux job seekers benefit from this information.

Yesterday, someone using the name 'Bill Gates' sent in a job posting to Linux Today, for a Microsoft Product Manager position. The job posting was beautifully and professionally detailed. I dismissed it as a well-written jape and posted it to one of our internal lists with the heading 'I love morning humor.'

Marty Pitts, Linux Today's managing editor, saw it and replied that I should check it out, but I held my position that it was a joke. But it was too well written to be completely dismissed and Linux Today's general manager Dwight Johnson decided to take a look for himself at Microsoft jobs Web site.

And here it is:


Primary responsibilities include developing and executing Microsoft's Linux strategy, providing competitive technical analysis of the Linux operating system, coordinating and driving cross-company Linux efforts and providing the necessary tools and resources to educate the field sales force on Linux. This is a key position within Microsoft with very high visibility, both within and outside the company. The ideal candidate will have solid technical skills in both Unix and/or Linux and Windows NT, extensive knowledge of the Unix marketplace, a minimum of two years experience in a product marketing role, excellent PR and public speaking skills and a proven ability to manage both people and processes to drive projects to completion. A BA/BS degree and an MBA or equivalent experience preferred.

Job Location: Redmond, Washington.

I'm wondering if they consider the Mindcraft test a 'competitive technical analysis.' Anyway, you could imagine our surprise.

But it didn't stop there. There are currently a total of *four* job postings with 'Linux' as a keyword on Microsoft's Web site. Here's another one.


Product Manager - Press/Analyst Relations, Competitive Focus Responsibilities: 1) Develop the key messages, themes and strategic thinking around 3 major competitive focus areas Sun, Novell and Linux 2) Educate the press/analysts on these messages and become the Microsoft spokesperson for a given competitive area 3) Responsible for creating both the Pro-active and Re-active PR activities and plans. Additionally work closely with our PR agency to develop and execute these plans 4) Take leadership role in bringing together a virtual team to perform detailed SWOT analysis, understanding customer wins/losses and develop strategic thinking around the competition 5) Support subsidiaries efforts to influence and educate press and analysts in their geography Requirements: Strong technical background. Ideally good expertise in at least one of the following environments, UNIX/Solaris/Sun hardware, Novell NetWare/NDS and a strong understanding of the Linux Operating System and general Open Source efforts. Strong understanding of Microsoft Enterprise products such as Windows NT Server, Workstation SQL Server, Exchange and how these are deployed in real customer environments. Strong presentation skills, good communication and customer skills. Previous experience with Press and Analysts not necessary, but desirable.

Job Location: Redmond, Washington

'Messages,' 'keys,' and 'strategic thinking' about Linux from Microsoft? This is deep stuff. One of my favorites: 'develop strategic thinking around the competition.'

Just think: with the right qualifications and skills, you might become a Microsoft Linux spokesperson with flaming E-mail delivered straight to your Microsoft.com address fresh every morning.

I'm wondering which of my friends in the Linux community will be at LinuxWorld Expo next year, wearing a shirt and tie freshly dry-cleaned using their Microsoft expense account. I wonder if they'll tell me that they're working for Microsoft. Hmmm, I wonder how many of my open source community friends already work for Microsoft and I just don't know it yet?

Hmmm, this Microsoft jobs page makes it really easy to apply. Anyone interested in applying just has to click 'Apply now.' You can even type your resume right into their database and they'll keep it on file for an entire year.

I considered applying for one of these jobs, strictly for journalistic purposes, of course, but the jig would be up as soon as I told them where I currently work.

But perhaps you are interested in a good paying Linux job with 'very high visibility, both within and outside the company' working for America's top high tech employer. If you do apply, let us know what happens!