Photo of Jon Udell from his website.

Jon Udell joined Microsoft in January 2007 as an "evangelist", specifically "to help make technology better serve the needs of society."

Before joining Microsoft, he was author of the book Practical Internet Groupware, and he also worked as a professional blogger for Infoworld. In his present capacity, he continues to serve as a professional blogger, except he now does so to promote Microsoft products, which, despite criticism he received for "selling out his principles and joining a side", he has refuted this criticism by citing a portion of the forword of his book, written by Time O'Reilly:

All too often, people wear their technology affiliations on their sleeve (or perhaps on their t-shirts), much as people did with chariot racing in ancient Rome. Whether you use NT or Linux, whether you program in Perl or Java or Visual Basic - these are marks of difference and the basis for suspicion. Jon stands above this fragmented world like a giant. He has only one software religion: what works.

According to Udell, he is evangelizing for Microsoft because he is convinced their software is the current wave of progress, and while the exact scope of his job as an "Evangelist" is nebulous, he currently continues to blog about the virtues of Microsoft's software, which, to quote the close of an interview he gave regarding criticism for his decision to "evangelize" for Microsoft":

Q: Will you become Microsoft's next Robert Scoble?
A: The way I see it, Robert played a key role in a grand experiment to make Microsoft's development processes more transparent. Channels 9 and 10, and the hundreds of Microsoft blogs throughout the organization, are evidence that the experiment is succeeding.
I've proposed a different experiment. I'll continue to be a channel for alpha geeks. But I also want to become a channel for a whole lot of civilians in the mainstream. And above all, I want to build bridges between these two groups.
Q: Will you continue to use Firefox, Gmail, and OS X?
A: Sure. I'll also continue to use Microsoft technologies as I always have, and I'll keep on pushing the boundaries of cross-pollination and interoperability. The most powerful mashups don't just mix code and data, they mix cultures. I hope this will be an opportunity for me to do that in a way that benefits everybody.

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