When I was working at Microsoft, I worked with a guy named Adam Bosworth. He was the head program manager on Microsoft Access 1.0. Adam came from Borland, where he was the architect of their spreadsheet program. Adam left Microsoft and founded a new company called Crossgain with another very, very smart guy named Tod Nielsen (head marketing guy on Access 1.0).
Now what exactly Crossgain is doing is kind of mysterious, but Microsoft doesn't like it. It is some kind of web service software, apparently using Linux and Oracle. Microsoft told Crossgain to switch to Windows and SQL Server. Crossgain told Microsoft to take a hike. Microsoft enforced its non-compete clauses on Bosworth, Nielsen, and a bunch of Crossgain's engineers. They took a vacation for a while until their one-year non-compete was up. At least that is what was reported in the press.
While surfing tonight, I found this interview with Bosworth. You might find it interesting: [xmlmag.com ]
Web services are going to be a very important thing in the next five years. Bosworth and Nielsen were two of the smartest guys at Microsoft (the only two I'd ever even consider working for again). Crossgain will be a company to watch.