Robert Scoble, aka The Best Known Corporate Blogger In The World, has decided it is time to quit the day job by leaving Microsoft to join a Valley-based startup called PodTech.net.

Scoble, who writes the Scobleizer blog, has won many friends in the internet industry for his non-compromising, open and inquisitive style of commentary. He managed to convey some sense of how Microsoft was reacting to other news in the internet industry, making his blog a daily read for MS-watchers all over the world, and one of the top 10 blogs in Technorati.

Microsoft’s legions of PR worker bees must be feeling a great sense of relief at Scoble’s departure, though maybe not so the marketing department; Scoble is arguably the best and most profitable investment MS has ever made into its brand.

Scoble single-handedly changed Microsoft’s image, softening up its brand, especially among those who make the loudest bad noise (tech professionals and competitors). He regularly praised competitors and admired their products, wining and dining executives from these companies in the process.

To its credit, Microsoft allowed him something approaching a free role and appeared not to interfere, but when you read between the lines it seems clear that he wants to be freed from corporate restraints. There was also the small matter of pay, which many bloggers have suggested has irked Scoble in recent months.

And he’s chosen a good way out. He’s opted for a startup, with $5m of seed funding in the bank, and some big plans. 

PodTech.net CEO John Furrier describes Scoble as a “global brand” and given his connections, it seems that PodTech will become a huge success. Scoble has an Access All Areas pass for the internet industry. His role as VP of Content for PodTech.net will see him lining up video interviews with the internet’s movers and shakers.

“I’ve seen the power of this new media, and how fast audiences can grow. Out of all the companies I’ve been watching, PodTech.Network is best positioned to take advantage of the rapid growth that I’m seeing in this marketplace and I’m thrilled to join this team,” Scoble said, in a press release issued by PodTech.

We wish him well in his new venture. Now, let’s see if Niall Kennedy can fill the Scoble-shaped void for Microsoft.