Microsoft loses its greatest asset

I'm genuinely shocked that Microsoft should have lost the services of Robert Scoble – described by the Economist as the company's Chief Humanising Officer. Scoble is rightly seen as the 'poster boy' of blogging, giving us an insider's view of the world's biggest software company, warts and all. In many respects, he defined the concept of 'corporate blogging'. In fact, he did actually write the book on it. But all this will soon come to an end, when he moves to, a startup company 'dedicated to podcasting'.
You can read all sorts of things into this. A confidence crisis following delays to the release of Windows Vista, originally Scoble's particular evangelical remit – he isn't the only person I know to be leaving a very cushy job at Microsoft just now. Or perhaps, it's a midlife crisis for a man in his early 40s. Maybe he felt he'd done all he could with Microsoft. Or maybe there's a serious future to podcasting after all. (I remain to be convinced!)
Regardless, it's the end of an era. Microsoft needs a new 'friendly face', urgently. And podcasting suddenly got interesting again