And if so, who’s smoking it?
I kid. In the interest of annotating Microsoft’s brain drain to Google (sigh, another list), here are the major Softies who have joined the Google side of the force:
Vic Gundotra – (left around June 28, 2006) Vic was a 15-year Microsoft veteran and a general manager for platform evangelism. According to Business 2.0, Vic had been charged with getting developers to write programs that build on top of Microsoft’s desktop software and online services. Most recently he had been working out a strategy to compete with the draw of Google’s newer, Web-based software applications.
Martin Taylor? – (left around June 20, 2006) Martin was the VP of Windows Live and the MSN marketing group. He was reportedly good friends with CEO Steve Ballmer and a possible candidate for that position.Or not. Martin left MS, but it wasn’t to go to Google.
- Kai-Fu Lee – (left in July 2005) Kai-Fu worked at Microsoft for seven years on user interfaces and speech systems. Now he heads up Google’s research center in China.
- Marc Lucovsky – (left in November 2004) Marc was a 16-year Softie vet. According to co-reporter Mary Jo Foley, Marc is credited as one of the core dozen engineers that came from Digital Equipment Corp. to Microsoft and built the Windows NT operating system. He was charged with building the Windows NT executive, kernel, Win32 run-time and other key elements of the operating system. NT was the precursor to Windows Server. Lucovsky’s departure was purportedly the reason Ballmer threw a chair. That incident was recounted in legal documents upon Kai-Fu Lee’s departure.
- Joe Beda – (left in September 2004) Joe used to work on Avalon (graphics engine), Longhorn (Vista operating system) and Internet Explorer (poor man’s Firefox). Now he works on Google Talk.
- Adam Bosworth – Adam actually left BEA Systems for Google, but he held various senior management positions at Microsoft prior to that. Garrett Rogers at ZDNet says he may be working on Google Health.
Have I missed any of the big ones? As noted in several news sources lately, Bill’s departure from Microsoft isn’t going to make the execs’ jobs any easier.