September 30, 2023

Mark Lucovsky, a former key member of the unique Microsoft NT crew, has left Google 20 years after first becoming a member of the web large.

“I’ve determined to step away from my function at Google, the place I used to be Senior Director of Engineering, answerable for OS and Software program Platform for AR and XR units,” Mr. Lucovsky tweeted yesterday. “The current modifications in AR management and Google’s unstable dedication and imaginative and prescient have weighed closely on my resolution.”

“Transferring ahead, I’m wanting to discover alternatives that permit me to additional advance Augmented Actuality know-how and its intersection with generative AI,” he continued. “I strategy the following chapter with enthusiasm and anticipation for the thrilling prospects that lie forward.”

Whereas it’s commonplace for the high-profile tech elite to lash out at their former employer publicly—Id Software program co-founder John Carmack did the identical factor this previous July when he left Meta—this criticism comes at a tricky time for Google, which is seen as a laggard within the exploding AI house, casting doubts on Sundar Pichai’s management.

And right here’s a enjoyable little bit of tech historical past, as Lucovsky isn’t any stranger to leaving badly. He got here from DEC to Microsoft with a number of others to create NT and performed a key function in that undertaking, together with, amongst different issues, co-defining the Win32 APIs for builders. And when he advised Microsoft’s then-CEO Steve Ballmer that he was leaving the corporate to go to Google, Ballmer infamously threw a chair into the wall of his workplace.

“F$%^ing Eric Schmidt is a f$%^ing p$%^sy,” he screamed at Lucovsky. “I’m going to f$%^ing bury that man, I’ve performed it earlier than, and I’ll do it once more. I’m going to f$%^ing kill Google … Google’s not an actual firm. It’s a home of playing cards.”

Lucovsky wasn’t truly at Google this complete time: he left Google in some unspecified time in the future to work for VMWare, after which he joined Fb (now Meta) to work on a brand new OS for AR/VR in 2019. It’s not clear when he returned to Google, nevertheless it’s fascinating that he’s nonetheless thinking about AR/VR, given the overall assumption that this know-how won’t ever be broadly well-liked. He’s one of many smartest individuals I’ve ever met, nevertheless, so he have to be onto one thing.