The man dubbed the “soul of Microsoft” is apparently missing, sparking thoughts that he might have cleaned out his desk and headed into the sunset.
J Allard’s job title was Microsoft Chief Experience officer and CTO of the Entertainment and Devices division. In fact he was the bloke who came up with wizard ideas for Microsoft. The Xbox was one of his ideas, as was the Zune. A 2006 BusinessWeek article described him as “the soul of a new Microsoft.”
Mary Jo Foley at ZD Net went looking for him and was told that “J is on a sabbatical and he is unlikely to return to the company”.
Word on the street is that J was really miffed after his latest project, the Courier tablet, was axed. Courier was a two-screened folding device that looked cool in leaked promotional materials.
The shaved headed one is missing so no one knows what he is doing. Although some think he might end up at Google.
But does this mean that Microsoft is now a souless wonder, forever doomed to shuffle around in Hades’ gloom for ever, before finally fading into an unremembered shadow? Some would argue that happened a long time ago.