NEWS - Monday, May 24, 2010

(RUMOR) - J Allard Rumored to Be Leaving Microsoft

J Allard -- a man heavily influential to the Xbox in terms of shaping both its technology and branding -- may soon be leaving Microsoft, if rumors swirling out of the company are accurate.
ZDNet reports (via Kotaku) that sources say Allard -- who currently holds the titles of Chief Experience Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Entertainment and Devices Division -- has had a falling out with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer over the recent cancelation of the latest project Allard was overseeing: the Courier Tablet. The project, which was essentially a dual-screen tablet computer, had evidently made it all the way up to "incubation" status (a middle-state between research products and products that go on for production), but was cut short by Microsoft last month without much explanation.

Now ZDNet reports that one source (who has been "a pretty reliable tipster in the past") says Allard has gone on sabbatical, and is "unlikely to return to Microsoft." Other chatter has it that Allard was unhappy over the Courier Tablet cancelation, with another source claiming it was Ballmer who "showed Allard the door" over the Courier disagreement. When contacted about Allard’s current status and future, Microsoft gave ZDNet a basic "We’re not commenting on rumor or speculation" response.

Allard oversaw the development of the Xbox and Xbox 360, and was particularly public during the lead up to the Xbox 360’s launch (you may recall his grand proclamations about the coming "HD Era"). He also went on to oversee the development and launch of the Zune.

This is neither here nor there, but he’s also well known for owning up to his bets.



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