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Blogger who often rapped Microsoft will join a start-up

(Correction: Because of an editing error, a photo caption in Monday's Business & Innovation section about Microsoft Corp. blogger Robert Scoble was accompanied by the wrong photo. The photo was of Shel Israel, Scoble's co author on a book on weblogs titled ``Naked Conversations.")

SEATTLE -- A prominent Microsoft Corp. blogger who sometimes bluntly bashed the software behemoth is leaving the company and joining, a Silicon Valley video blogging start-up.

Robert Scoble, 41, said yesterday that he's going to miss the company, which seemed to love him the more he criticized it.

Asked why he thought Microsoft didn't mind his public criticism, Scoble said he thinks it's because chairman Bill Gates ``loves arguing out ideas."

``He knows that an idea can change the world. How are you going to get the best ideas from 60,000 people? Let an idea get out in the public square and let people talk about it," Scoble said in a telephone interview from San Francisco, where he and PodTech executives were planning to attend a video blogging conference.

Scoble, a ``technical evangelist" and strategist for Channel 9, a website created two years ago to strengthen ties between Microsoft and outside software developers, said he submitted his letter of resignation on Saturday.

``We are sorry to see Robert leave Microsoft," the company said in a statement its public relations firm, Waggener Edstrom, e-mailed to AP. ``Robert made a strong contribution through Channel 9 and his blog during an important time for the company. We wish him well in his future endeavors."

Scoble said he will continue working at the Redmond-based technology giant through the end of the month and begin his job as vice president of media development at PodTech, based in Menlo Park, Calif., in early July.

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