There are many subscribers to the "Microsoft Religeon". Employees,
Stockholders, Consultants, "Strategic Partners", people holding MCSE,
MSCP, and other Microsoft certifications, subscribers to MSDN, and
corporate executives responsible for the critical phases of the IT
Decision making process - especially desktop systems.
There are many high-level IT executives who owe their current positions
to Microsoft, who often helps corporations find high-level executives,
with no referral fees. After all, if the guy is going to be ordering
$100 million worth of Microsoft products at 85% profit to Microsoft,
why quibble over a $25,000 head-hunter's commission?
The practice isn't even illegal. When salesmen are servicing corporate
accounts, they tend to have very good information services, who's
moving up, who's moving out, who's supportive, who's a "problem". When
they encounter a "problem" - they can suggest a candidate with
outstanding credentials who would be great at "managing this problem"
(putting him in a dark room and giving him sh*twork intil he resigns).
Other companies do it as well, but I think Microsoft is certainly one
of the better players in this industry. They rank right up there with
the makers of Tobacco, Guns, and distilled alcoholic products. But
they are not nearly as good as some of the defense contractors.