Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

Summary: A long-time member of Microsoft's Internet Explorer team, Chris Wilson, has left Microsoft and is joining Google in November.

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A long-time member of Microsoft's Internet Explorer team, Chris Wilson, has left Microsoft and is joining Google in November.

Wilson's move is more than "yet another Microsoft guy goes Google." Although Wilson didn't burn any bridges in his September 21 goodbye blog post, he made it clear that Google's strategy to advance the Web as a platform is where he sees the action happening.

Wilson said he is taking a month off and then will be joining Google as a Developer Advocate, working out of Google's Fremont, Wash., offices.

"I’ll spare the minor details of my decision (other than how excited I am to turn my Office Space style commute into a 6 mile bike ride to Google’s Fremont office), and just say I’m very excited to work for a company that invests so much in making the Web platform better for developers and consumers, and I hope that I can use this as an opportunity to not only do no evil, but to actively do good," Wilson blogged.

Wilson joined the IE team back in 1995, has spent a lot of his time on the hot seat, representing Microsoft on various standards groups. As of mid-2009, Wilson was Principal Program Manager of the Open Web Platform in Microsoft's Developer Division. At that time, he was working for the browser programmability and tools unit, which was the team building the "Chakra" JavaScript engine and tools for Internet Explorer 9.

Wilson told me a year ago that Microsoft was working to create a more unified Web platform vision and strategy, giving higher priority to the tools and runtime APIs (application programming interfaces) for the Web.

The open Web platform is not a single, definable entity, Wilson said. “But to me, it’s CSS, HTML 5, JavaScript and other APIs developed by the W3C,” Wilson told me a year ago.

IE 9 will be Microsoft's most standards-compliant and fastest version of its browser when it is released (most likely in the first half of 2011). So maybe Wilson saw his work at Microsoft as done. I think the Redmondians still have a long way to go before Microsoft ever has the same commitment and support for Web development as it does for Windows development....

Topics: CXO, Browser, Google, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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42 comments
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  • Maybe now chrome will start to catch up to IE9's performance

    or maybe he'll turn out to be yet another one who went to google and just vasnished into the unproductivity chasm after finding out google really isn't what it looks like from the outside...
    Johnny Vegas
    • Microsoft has yet to release a browser that is faster than Google. You can

      start bragging when the released version of IE is faster than the released version of Chrome. Google might still release something faster than IE9 before it is released. But, IE9 BETA is still NOT faster than released version of Chrome in all areas yet.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

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    • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

      @Johnny Vegas

      So now Microsoft is a productive kick-a** company.

      Please get real. IE9 is beta, doesn't run on XP and breaks tons of sites. WebKit (based on KHTML) had an upward curve until it was able to render most sites correctly. With Chrome it only got better and practically they created HTML5.

      GPU Aceleration. Well that's gonna give IE9 a little edge. Why? Direct3D and OpenGL are ups for grabs and Chrome can appear on a HA executable and a normal one. Can IE9 do that.... not really...
      cosuna
      • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

        @cosuna . Why do people insist on complaining that IE9 doesn't work for XP. It's 10 years old. No other company is allowing 10yr old products prevent them from moving forward. It's time to upgrade.

        As far as IE9 breaking tons of websites, it's still in beta. We'll see how the final version comes out.

        Firefox now seems to have all of the problems IE does/did (security exploits, amazing slowness). It's hard being at the top. I'm sure once chrome makes #1 we'll hear the same thing.
        tech@...
      • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

        @cosuna

        Why do people insist on complaining that IE9 isn't going to work on XP. It's 10 yrs old. Time for an upgrade. Most software companies don't allow 10 yr old tech to hinder their development. Why should MS?
        tech@...
    • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

      @Johnny Vegas

      ROFL.... no really, Roll On Floor Laughing... hard! :D

      Man you made my day. Thanks for the funny. :)
      Technical John
    • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

      @Johnny Vegas Alas they don't support XP making it irrelevant for me. I haven't seen any mention of any component using Direct2D/DirectWrite unlike IE9 which truly uses these at its core. Live Wave 4 is falsely dependent on Vista by using the Windows Ribbon framework which was only ported up to Vista instead of using the Office 2010 Ribbon which is improved in fact and supports XP as well. In one of the interviews by Ina Fried, their VP says "We just decided not to support XP". Now that's evil without any real dependency on Vista. <a href="http://www.arabaoyunlarimiz.gen.tr/ben-10-oyunlari/"><b>ben 10 oyunlari</b></a> <a href="http://www.game.gen.tr/kategori-4-32-Ben_10_Oyunlari.html">ben 10</a> <a href="http://www.kraloyun.gen.tr/yeni-oyunlar/">yeni oyunlar</a>
      Arabalar
    • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

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    • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

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      otisa
  • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

    Good riddance if he couldn't hack it at Microsoft. There was probably a good reason he left, and I'm betting it wasn't willingly. Don't worry its only a matter of time before he leaves Google as well, once he gets bored playing with the office toys and realizes he can't work on the projects he wants to but just copy what others have done.

    As much as I hate TechCrunch and whats his name who runs it, this link is relevant:
    http://techcrunch.com/2009/01/18/why-google-employees-quit/
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

      @Loverock Davidson

      Microsoft are a corporation, not a religion.

      I'm a "L. Davidson" as well and sometimes I think about changing my name so people don't think I'm the one posting your stupidity all over ZDNet.
      LeoD
      • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

        @LeoD
        No one called Microsoft a religion. We are just saying he couldn't handle it at Microsoft and he's going to be more miserable at Google. We'll be here to laugh at him once he realizes his mistake.

        [i]I'm a "L. Davidson" as well and sometimes I think about changing my name so people don't think I'm the one posting your stupidity all over ZDNet. [/i]
        You will get more credibility if you keep it. I know from experience :)
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

        @LeoD you take a good decision. <a href="http://www.worldwideacademics.com/programs/online-diploma.asp">university diplomas</a> | <a href="http://www.worldwideacademics.com/programs/online-graduate-diploma.asp">graduate diploma</a>
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    • No, a lot simpler. He just wants to work with the best and the brightest,

      FULLY dedicated to HTML5, and open inter-operable browsers. He saw a lot more opurtunities at Google. Period.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

        @DonnieBoy
        A lot simpler, yes. He's going to be like the rest of the people at Google and play with office toys until the competition comes out with something really useful, then they will copy that idea and make their own version of it, and fail at doing so. He just killed his own career.
        Loverock Davidson
      • Well, with all of the playing, Google earns a more per employee that MS.

        Maybe the time playing beach volley ball actually improves productivity!!
        DonnieBoy
      • Really, like the best and brightest that left Google?

        If you Bing or Google "leaves Google" you see a lot of high profile (best and brightest) that are working somewhere else.

        So if he wants to work with the best and brightest, Google doesn't look to be it anymore... ;)
        John Zern
      • Ok, I WAS having fun with this, but, a higher turn over rate among tech

        companies is very good for the industry as a whole. But, of course Microsoft is ending up on the short end of the stick trying to attract the best and the brightest.
        DonnieBoy
    • RE: Chris Wilson trades his Microsoft Web-platform hat for a Google one

      @Loverock Davidson

      Ouchie... this one looks like it hit a nerve for ya there!

      Well don't throw a chair or anything...

      It's just the life-blood draining from good 'ole MS. Death by a thousand tiny job openings... ;)
      Technical John