It appears that Google has a new way of recruiting, paying students to become open source developers.
I'm thinking about this Summer of Code thing and the only reason I can think of for doing it (other than not being evil and maitaining geek karma) is for recruiting. If google is going to conferences such as MYSQLUC for no other reason than to recruit, why not try a new method? Perhaps they are apparently running out of good resumes. And if they maintain their geek credibility maybe eventually geeks will decide to leave their employment and work at google.
What does Google have to lose? At most $1 million. In return they get great marketing, and 200 potential hires. We get potentially 200 improvements in the open source world. (Go mono! err I mean go harmony!) (Note to self, write about open source innovations through commercial companies...)