Last year we set the application deadline for internships to February 1st, which was fine, and the deadline did a good job of forcing students to get off their butts and apply, but we made the mistake of not considering applications until they were all in, which we thought would be most fair. It was fair, but it also meant that by the time we even looked at the resumes, some great applicants had already accepted summer jobs at Microsoft. Grr…
I dont know if he lost more than one intern to MS, but I definately met one of the interns he was talking about. He had applied to Fog Creek and MS, and heard back from MS first. Microsoft generally gives you about a week to get back to them on whether you want to accept the offer or not (which sounds heavy-handed, but is unfortunately not unusual with technical internships). So as a result, my friend ended up working at MS instead of Fog Creek.