I've been contracting at Microsoft for about two and a half months now. It was strongly hinted by the contracting agency that Microsoft would probably convert me to full time, but that's not something you can bet your rent on. I had figured that if it happened, it would happen at the end of the contract, which would leave me some difficult choices next summer: since any period of unemployment would leave me utterly bankrupt, should I start looking for other work while I still had time to find something before the contract ran out, possibly making it hard for myself to get contract work in the future, or should I stay and hope?
Well, it's a moot point. They started sniffing around a couple weeks ago, and made the final offer yesterday. For 60% more than I'm making now, solving all the financial problems I've been trying to figure out how to deal with. Plus better benefits, more vacation, more holidays, etc. And a position with one of the few stable software companies around, making it as permanent as any job is these days.
Needless to say, I took it. There are a lot of things to not like about Microsoft's business practices, and products (although most of those are the result of code and systems that have gotten so complex that human beings can no longer fix or test them very effectively despite everyone's best intentions), but frankly I don't feel strongly enough about the future of the computing industry to go bankrupt for my principles. If they want me to work for them, I'll do it and be glad for the money, which subsidizes my farm of old Unix machines at home. :)
Money can't buy you love, but it sure makes things suck a lot less.