Posted June 29, 2009 9:16 am by with 1 comment

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It seems that Microsoft’s taking three steps forward and one step back, with its hiring of other companies’ employees. It just lost Hugh Williams to eBay.

He left Microsoft to become vice president of development for search for the auction site and, judging by Williams’ LinkedIn profile, eBay gains the guy that helped created Bing:

I was a Partner at Microsoft, and a development manager in the Bing team. I’m proud to say that many of the features of the first Bing release were created by my team.

I managed the development of all user-facing web search relevance features, including the left-rail explore pane (with its "table of contents"), navigational query treatments, query-biased summaries, "deeplinks", related searches, and whole page results relevance. Additionally, I managed the Powerset team in San Francisco.

He also played a key role in Microsoft’s development of Internet Explorer 8.

So, two questions. What damage does this do to Bing, if any? And, what the heck does eBay have up its sleeve?

  • Andy,

    You bring up a very interesting topic pertaining to Mr. Williams. Will this affect the up and coming popularity of Microsoft’s Bing? The answer is probably not. Ebay may have gained an important asset from Bing; however, how important could he have been if Microsoft let him go? Additionally, by leaving Microsoft, he illustrated just revealed his corporate loyalty to the public. The bottom line is, more than likely, Bing will move on and adopt another power player to their team. Ebay will use Hugh’s strengths and skillsets to help manage one of their design teams. I do not see anything spectacular or phenominal coming out of this “trader” situation. Great post!

    TJ Devlin