An OSTG coworker suggested that the job would probably be to "evangelize open sourcerers to the Microsoft way."
Another coworker said he thought Bill Hilf's credibility was now so low that Microsoft needed a new face to represent them in Linux-related matters.
And the man who was being recruited said that, whatever the exact nature of the position, "It smelled like it would be a sacrificial lamb kind of thing."
My friend who got the Microsoft call is not necessarily as high-profile a GNU/Linux and FOSS person as Robbins was in Gentoo's early days, but he has plenty of community cred and, unlike many FOSS advocates, a strong reputation among some segments of industry and government as a level-headed, business-oriented guy. If Microsoft managed to "turn" him, it would certainly be worth some major press release boasting -- and might help slow the steady creep of Linux and FOSS into enterprise environments.
But, my recruited friend noted, he's "probably just one of a thousand people they're calling. Sooner or later, they'll find someone."
After my article on my recent trip to Redmond, I'm sure I won't get any such call. Not that I'd do anything but laugh and say "no" if I did.
What about you? What would you do if Microsoft offered you an "open source evangelist" position?