Google snags another Microsoft engineer


Google is planning something huge, as to what it is, no one really has any idea, but it probably has something to do with machines, natural language processing, and wearable technology, if its new hire is to be scrutinized.

Google has just poached Blaise Agüera y Arcas, a star engineer and software designer, from Microsoft, where he previously worked on a variety of projects including augmented reality and wearable computing.  Though it hasn’t been officially announced,  Agüera y Arcas has already confirmed that he’s left the company to go to work at Google.  No news yet as to what he will be working on Google, but sources claimed that it’ll be something to do with machine learning.

Agüera y Arcas came to Microsoft when his start-up Seadragon Software, a company that specializes in “web optimized visualization technology that allows graphics and photos to be smoothly browsed, regardless of their size,” was acquired by the software giant.  At Microsoft, he served as the key software architect for Photosynth, image-stitching software aimed at providing 3D panoramas in an immersive settinteamg, or a project that basically makes use of Seadragon’s technology.

“I’m going to Google.  On one hand, of course this is tremen­dously excit­ing; Google is a com­pany of grand ambi­tions and bril­liant peo­ple.  On the other hand it has been hard— very hard— to detach emo­tion­ally from Microsoft.  The company’s lead­er­ship has been con­sis­tently good to me over these past eight years, and it has been a time filled with cre­ativ­ity and growth and good friends.  It’s painful to leave behind so many won­der­ful ongo­ing projects, and even more so to leave behind such a great team.”

“The hard­est deci­sion of my life,” Agüera y Arcas wrote in his blog post.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft lost an important part of its team to Google.  In 2004, Mark Lucovsky, a distinguished engineer, left Microsoft for Google and in a case filing revealed that Steve Ballmer threw a chair across the room when he revealed that he was leaving the company.  We don’t know if Ballmer threw a similar fit when Agüera y Arcas bid farewell.

So what could Agüera y Arcas be working on Google?  There’s a huge chance that he will be involved in one of Google X’s projects, the search giant’s secret lab.  Or he could be helping Andy Rubin make robots that are able to function like real human beings.

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