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December 16, 2013

Microsoft engineer defects to Google

Arcas was key developer in Bing map service.

By Ben Sullivan

A renowned Microsoft engineer and software designer has defected to join the company’s rival, Google.

Blaise Agüera y Arcas, who was involved in projects surrounding augmented reality, wearable technology and natural user interfaces, will now work on machine learning at Google.

Arcas was one of the leading engineers in the development of Microsoft’s Bing Maps service.

Adam Sohn, a spokesman for Microsoft, told the New York Times, "He was a great colleague and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."

In 2005, Microsoft sued Google after hiring Kai-Fu Lee, a once Microsoft vice president, who had moved to Google to run its research facility in China.

Arcas’s popularity shot up in 2007 when he delivered a talk at the annual TED conference. He joined Microsoft in 2006 through the firm’s acquisition of Arcas’s startup, Seadragon Software, in 2006.

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