HP Hires Computer Pioneer Alan Kay

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2002-11-26
Computer pioneer Alan Kay is joining Hewlett-Packard Co. as a senior fellow in HP Labs focusing on the development of new software platforms.

Kay, who gave the industry the widely-quoted comment, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it," will work at HP developing new software platforms based on open-source code for devices and distributed applications, according to the Palo Alto, Calif., company.

"Alans interests coincide perfectly with our efforts to create a new software platform for the 21st century," Patrick Scaglia, vice president for HP Labs Internet and Computing Platform Technologies group, said in a statement.

"I agree with HP on the need to support standards-based, modular systems, where it makes sense for users and the industry," Kay said in a statement.

Over the past three-plus decades, Kay has been a key figure in the development of such technology as the laptop and Smalltalk, the first complete object-oriented language.

A founder of Xerox Corp.s Palo Alto Research Center, Kay also was instrumental in the development of such technology as overlapping windows on computer screens, icons and point-and-click interfaces.

He has held key engineering positions at Atari, Apple Computer Inc. and the Walt Disney Co. Kay also has been working at the Viewpoints Research Institute, an agency in Glendale, Calif., designed to increase the education of complex systems among adults and children.

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