Brian Valentine, Microsoft's operating systems chief, has left the company to join Amazon.com, ahead of the much-delayed delivery of Windows Vista.
Instead of worrying about delivering Vista by its January deadline, he will now be on the other side of the fence, wondering if the retail boxes will arrive in Amazon's warehouses in time.
Now, as Release Candidate One of Vista is delivered, (read our preview) and Microsoft announced the retail pricing of the final product, he is leaving to become a senior vice president of Amazon.com, according to the Seattle Times and other sources.
Valentine made his name in the final push to deliver the problematic Windows 2000, and won respect by improving the predictability of Windows releases since then, including XP. Windows Vista has suffered a two-year slippage, and the project has had to have its architecture changed, but most observers acknowledge the difficulty of the project. Valentine is reportedly leaving on good terms.
The body count in the struggle to deliver Vista includes one-time group vice president Jim Allchin, who was at one stage responsible for Windows product delivery, and plans to leave whenVista is out of the door.