AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

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 MacNN Staff



  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969



    looked cool.

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

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    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:

    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

    Joined: Dec 1969


    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


    J Allard may quit Microsoft....

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

  1. MorituriMax

    Joined: Dec 1969



    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

    Joined: Dec 1969


    convenient excuse

    Take out Zune as well, please.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969



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

  1. solefald

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This article...

    ... Sounds awful lot like an obituary.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    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.


    Just a thought,

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented