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J Allard may quit Microsoft over Courier's death

updated 01:50 pm EDT, Fri May 21, 2010

Famed Xbox head leaving MS over dual touch tablet

Microsoft's decision to kill the Courier tablet may have cost it one of its best-known employees, an investigation found this week. Chief Technical Officer J Allard, who went to the side project Alchemy Ventures after heading up the Xbox and later Zune teams, is believed to have gone on "sabbatical" but now may never come back. He was allegedly already uncertain about the company but decided to leave after Courier was axed before it was even made public.

Another source for ZDNet claimed that it may have been a personal disagreement between Allard and CEO Steve Ballmer over the potential for success of Courier. Officially, Microsoft hasn't confirmed the departure and still lists Allard as an employee, but corporate gaming and Xbox VP Todd Holmdahl may have had his role changed to cover startup projects.

An exit would be a significant loss for Microsoft, which has seen much of its recognizable talent either retire or jump ship to major competitors like Google. Allard is known for having turned the Xbox from a tentative project at Microsoft into a close competitor of Nintendo and Sony. Courier would have been unique in the tablet world but may have sparked rivalry in other teams who wanted their software to succeed.

"Allard was a key guy on Xbox and organizationally he was set up to drive innovations like Courier," an anonymous insider said. "He was one of the few there that really was willing to think outside the box and has people working on top secret projects off the main campus... He was regarded as being a bit (Apple CEO Steve) Jobs like in that he understood the importance of design, not just function. Hence if he departs Microsoft would lose an important design advocate and innovator."



By Electronista Staff
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  1. kdogg73

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Dec 2002

    +4

    Courier

    looked cool.

    Good luck J Allard. If all else fails, you could easily be Kevin Spacey's stunt double.

  1. joecab

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +2

    and this is post-MS makeover

    MS (or someone) made some of their faces for stage presentations more presentable, including Allard. Check out how he used to look: http://kotaku.com/217801/jallard-wear-that-wig

    So much for MS remaking themselves for the new mobile era. No Courier, no HP Slate ... I guess there's always Win Mobile 7?

    P.S. Without knowing the story behind it, this article's headline is hilariously disturbing

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +3

    Yet More Proof

    Yet more proof that Balmer isn't fit to be CEO of Microsoft. He has no vision.

  1. facebook_Jean-Robert

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010

    -2

    J Allard may quit Microsoft....

    Apple Inc., Please hire J Allard! Like Yesterday!

  1. MorituriMax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2010

    -1

    Damn

    Now my life is going to suck.. oh wait, no it won't. I don't know him and could care less whether he leaves, stays or whatever.

  1. Paul Huang

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 1999

    0

    convenient excuse

    Take out Zune as well, please.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    -1

    Well...

    There's always a place for him at Home Depot, or maybe even Radio Shack!

  1. solefald

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2008

    +1

    This article...

    ... Sounds awful lot like an obituary.

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    Looks like ........

    "Apple Inc., Please hire J Allard! Like Yesterday!"

    They already did. His name is Jonathan Ive. And he actually looks a lot like this guy.

    weird.

    Just a thought,
    en

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