Ed Frauenheim of cnet discussed the difficulty of running the Microsoft personnel gauntlet, er, “puzzle”. Why are they so arrogant? Obvious answer – they’re a big fish. And some managers think that if their company is big, so are they and act accordingly. However, once they leave the “hive” they usually sink back into the ooze they emerged from in the first place.
When one of the Microsoft recruiters came for me back in the mid-1990’s, I ended up hiring him to staff one of my funded startups – InterProphet. I recommend that startups in competitive times recruit a Microsoft recruiter – they’re very good.
On the serious side, the simple reason that Microsoft has difficulty in hiring is their antipathy to anyone who has worked with open source. This “us versus them” mindset has caused them to lose out on very talented people and on new directions in research and development in operating systems.