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August 8, 2006

Live developer leaves behind questions

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 2:06 PM

Niall Kennedy, who was hired into Microsoft's Windows Live group in April, is leaving to start his own company, apparently frustrated that more resources weren't devoted to his efforts to build a new Microsoft platform for feeding Internet content such as blogs to users.

He also offered a not-so-sunny view of the organization in announcing his departure on his blog, raising questions about Microsoft's Live effort, widely described by top executives as one of the company's most important.

"Windows Live is under some heavy change, reorganization, pullback, and general paralysis and unfortunately my ability to perform, hire, and execute was completely frozen as well," Kennedy wrote.

The Live group has been releasing a steady stream of products this summer, but not all of them have performed well upon introduction.

Kennedy said his work involving technologies like Really Simple Syndication and Atom was carried out by "a team of one attached to the Windows Live Alerts group." Kennedy noted he could "borrow resources" but that no team was being built around the platform in the foreseeable future.

Adam Sohn, a marketing director for Windows Live, said in response to Kennedy's claims, "We are not pulling back on the Live effort at all." He told The Associated Press, "We are totally committed and seeing great momentum across the company."

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