Google has taken over from Redmond as the place to be in software development. Google has the excitement Redmond used to have for developers. Microsoft is committed to nothing more than to maintaining a tilted playing field while Google has a huge mega-computer, an outstanding brand and is planning exciting things with a “we are the best and can do anything” attitude. It also helps to have some cool billions from the recent IPO. And look what is happening – Google is snaring some big names like Adam Bosworth from BEA, Joe Beda along with a couple of Microsoft IE types (talk about a development team being handcuffed – they have not been allowed to update IE since it was last upgraded in 2001) and Joshua Bloch from Sun.
Google has a reputation for employees having to work very hard but also smart. But the rewards and on-site blandishments and benefits are not small. In contrast Redmond has the reputation of also working its employees very hard; but the old salad days of huge rewards with stock options are gone as Microsofts stock price has been trading in a fairly narrow band for the past 2-4 years. And the reading on whether Microsoft salaries have picked up the slack is mixed, but certainly the Microsoft benefits have been cut back.
But Google has also has captured the attention of developers with Gmail, Google Desktop Search Engine and other recent innovations. Jon Udells praise of the Gmail DHTML innovations is not atypical. When Keep an Open Eye did a story on Googles new Desktop Search engine , the story got 17 to 0 more comments than a story heaping high prize on Microsofts BizTalk and Infopath. Now thats what I call Geeks Going Gaga over Google.