Danny Thorpe, one of the higher-profile hires Microsoft made to its Windows Live team, has decided to leave for greener pastures.
Thorpe joined Microsoft from Borland (via a stint at Google). He is known as one of the main movers and shakers behind the Borland's Delphi programmnig language. He served as the Chief Scientist for Windows and .Net developer tools at Borland for a year-plus, as well. Thorpe joined Microsoft as a member of the Windows Live dev team in April 2006. Thorpe announced his plans to leave Microsoft, via his blog, on October 5. Thorpe explained:
"I've been approached by startups before, but most are easy to dismiss because they have no funding. No matter how good the idea, I can't afford to work for IOUs. This one was different. Disruptive ideas, razor sharp team, and recently funded by Kleiner Perkins. Well that's different.
"As fate would have it, my next gig will be at CoolIris, building browser plugins that are one part eye candy an two parts antimatter disrupter.
"While I will be leaving the Microsoft payroll, I won't be leaving the Windows Live arena. I'm moving from the service producer to the service consumer side of the field. CoolIris will quickly need user logins, address books, photos, and storage, and I will certainly make sure they are aware of Windows Live's service offerings. We should definitely leverage rather than build out infrastructure."
The LiveSide.Net folks note that Thorpe isn't the only recent well-known Windows Live defector. A couple of other search-focused execs -- Bubba Murarka and Erik Selberg -- have left the fold recently as well.
Microsoft has been reticent to share about what's next on the Windows Live platform/development front. Company officials have declined to discuss Microsoft's announcement, expected next month, of a new Windows Live developer toolkit (akin to the Microsoft Facebook toolkit).
I've also had no luck getting the Live dev folks to go on record about how they plan to open up access to more programming interfaces and data; they won't say anything more than what they said six months ago at Mix '07. With Facebook and Google getting all the kudos lately for their API openness, you'd think Microsoft might be a little more forthcoming about what it is doing in this arena...