In 1988, I went to a Monsters of Rock concert at the L.A. Coliseum with headlining bands like Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica (my three favorite hard rock bands). Nearly 100,000 people where rockin'.

In the spirit of an all-star rock concert, I want to highlight some of of the many great people who have recently joined the Windows Live division. Some of them are moving from other Microsoft teams and others are joining Microsoft as new employees. There is no particular order to the list below:

David LaVallee - David is one of the original Java creators during the early Java years. He recently joined Microsoft in the Windows Live division. Scoble blogged about the hiring of David LaVallee:

Steve Ball invited Buzz and I over to a party at his new house tonight. He’s the guy who runs the media teams on Windows. Quite a good guitarist too. What’s fun is you can listen to his music too. But at the party I met some interesting technologists. Steve introduced me to David LaVallee. Don’t know who David is? I didn’t either. But he worked with Steve Jobs for years and, while at Apple, was the guy who pushed Jobs to buy Garageband. He also worked on the original Java team and at Disney for a while. He’s now working at Microsoft on the MSN Messenger team. His blog is fun to read. <continued>

Ronny Kohavi - Ronny is a top expert in Machine Learning and comes to Windows Live from Amazon.com where he was their Director of Data mining and Personalization. Several of Ronny's papers are in the top cited papers in this field. He recently joined Microsoft in the Windows Live division to build an experimentation platform.

Bill Zissimopoulos - Bill was recently on the Visual Studio team here at Microsoft. Previously Bill was an architect at AOL who responsible for the design and implementation of parts of AOL’s trusted security and transactional infrastructures for their datacenters. Bill works as a lead developer working on core Windows Live developer platform efforts.

Danny Thorpe - Danny was the former Chief Scientist at Borland, left Borland in October 2005 and then went to work at Google. This week Danny joined Microsoft to work as a senior program manager architect in Windows Live. Danny started a new blog today and posted about joining Windows Live:

Greetings! My name is Danny Thorpe and I am happy to announce that I have recently joined Microsoft's Windows Live Platform team. What's the Windows Live Platform team? They're the folks bent on organizing, unifying, fleshing out and defining new APIs and SDKs to enable software developers from all camps to leverage Windows Live services in their own applications and interoperate with the world at scale. Some of you who know me from my years at Borland working on Delphi stuff may have wondered where I disappeared to. I've just completed a stint at Google to help create some cool stuff in the "web as an application platform" space. That's well on its way now, so hopefully we'll see some manifestation of it show up on Google Labs in the next year or so. Now I'm setting about figuring out some cool stuff for Windows Live! One part of the challenge is to chip away at the mountain of Microsoft service API todos that the guys here have already identified as "must haves" and "minimum requirements". <continued>

Yaron Goland - Yaron has just joined Microsoft from BEA to work on Windows Live. At BEA he was the Director of Technology and he is one of the leading experts in REST, XML, and message passing systems.

Niall Kennedy - Niall just joined Microsoft's Windows Live division to create a new product team around syndication technologies such as RSS and Atom. He will help build a feed syndication platform leveraged by Microsoft products and developers all around the world. Dare Obasanjo blogged about Niall Kennedy joining Windows Live:

I spoke to Niall on the phone last week and I'm glad to see that he accepted our offer. When I was first hired to work in MSN Windows Live I was told I'd be working on three things; a blogging platform for MSN Spaces, a brand new social networking platform and an RSS platform. I've done the first two and was looking forward to working on the third but something has come up which will consume my attention for the near future. I promised the my management and the partner teams who were interested in this platform that I'd make sure we got the right person to work on this project. When I found out Niall was leaving Technorati it seemed like a match made in heaven. I recommended him for the job and talked to him on the phone about working at Microsoft. The people who will be working with him thought he was great and the rest has been history. <continued>

I'm super enthused about getting to work with many of these new people joining Windows Live. I recently joined the Windows Live team moving over from the developer tools division, now on Scott's Swanson product planning team. What I work on is the planning details for an upcoming new cool web site for Windows Live developers, the API roadmap for platform services, and activities around building developer communities. This means I will be working closely with Danny Thorpe which I'm really looking forward to.

This is just some of the incredible hiring momentum occurring here recently in the Windows Live division. There are many Windows Live job openings at Microsoft on the Microsoft Careers web site. And if you don't join the band, then join us online "Live" with our products, services, and platform. We we have many concerts lined up including TechEd 2006 in June. TechEd events are known to have rock concerts as part of the fun. I saw the band Cheap Trick play at TechEd 1998. I wish we could get Spinal Tap to play at this upcoming TechEd 2006 in Boston, since this one is gonna to go to eleven!