On Monday, one of the more interesting stories about Microsoft and their coveted talent pool was discussed in great detail, when a top Microsoft engineer switched teams. The move of Blaise Aguera y Arcas to Google is a huge loss for Microsoft but shows how important talent is at Microsoft.
The news of Blaise Aguera y Arcas moving from Microsoft to Google came as a shock to many in the tech universe, but shows how incredibly competitive the tech world and engineers is today. He led various divisions at Microsoft, and Microsoft needs to find someone to replace his valuable talent there.
Who Is Blaise Aguera y Arcas?
Most people who don’t follow Microsoft might never have heard of the name of Blaise Aguera y Arcas, and that is understood. As one who was involved in a number of development projects at Microsoft, he was more behind the scenes than most. He was involved in many augmented reality projects as well, and also led various teams at Microsoft.
At Microsoft, he also helped with wearable computing at the company, and worked with natural users interfaces. But, where he shined at Microsoft was within their Bing Maps service. The latest 3-D maps and Photosynth services that have been launched were his doing, as reported in the past weeks here.
Why This Matters At Microsoft?
The move of a single engineer usually isn’t much news, but it shows how competitive that Microsoft is with Google currently. The two companies share a very public and private rivalry that a lot of companies don’t have in today’s world. It started back in 2005 with another engineer, and that has only gotten stronger throughout the years.
Microsoft covets their engineers and is doing its hardest to make sure that engineers who are talented stay within the company, but the lure of creativeness and technology often makes them want to try new adventures. The battle to keep highly prized talents throughout the years has always been something that Microsoft has been very good at, but the latest tech companies has changed the environment at Redmond, and kept their engineers looking.
I know people who have moved from Microsoft and the need to evolve is the reason they leave. Microsoft has evolved slowly, but the need to keep engineers happy is key.