Key Microsoft engineer for Bing Maps and Photosynth departs for Google

Microsoft has lost one of its major software engineers to perhaps its biggest rival, Google. The New York Times reports that Blaise Aguera y Arcas, who joined Microsoft in 2006 after his company Seadragon Software was acquired by the Redmond giant, will now reportedly work on machine learning projects at his new Google gig.

While at Microsoft, Aguera y Arcas was a major developer behind several Bing-related projects, including Bing Maps and Bing Mobile. He also was head of development for Photosynth, which allows for the creation of 3D panoramic images by merging a number of separate photographs together. Microsoft just launched the third generation version of Photosynth last week in a public preview.

In a statement sent to the Times, Microsoft said, "He was a great colleague and we wish him the best in his future endeavors." In a post on his personal blog, Aguera y Arcas said that while it was "tremen­dously excit­ing" to take on a new job at Google, he also stated that leaving Microsoft was "The hard­est deci­sion of my life." He added, " It’s painful to leave behind so many won­der­ful ongo­ing projects, and even more so to leave behind such a great team."

Source: New York Times | Image via Blaise Aguera y Arcas

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What a convenient way for Ballmer to throw one final chair before he retires. I'd be surprised if this guy can survive the flying chairs on his way out. Sorry couldn't help it!

Doesn't this assume that the machine you get already has 8.1 on it? I've experienced that being the case. Perhaps this should have a side note, if you have Windows 8 -> here's how to get to 8.1 quickly.

It hope his tough decision becomes tougher in time. Not good to lose great assets like this guy. Photosynth great technology.

Mr. Hand said,
By "machine learning" do we mean "figure out new waits to stick more targeted ads in your face?"

probably ways to make those new robots hunt you down if you don't use Chrome.