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IE captain flees Microsoft for Google

'I want to do good,' vows 15-year Redmond vet

After fifteen years of work on Internet Explorer, browser architect Chris Wilson is leaving Microsoft for Google.

"As I reached the conclusion that I’d helped IE along as much as I could, I felt it was a good time to reassess where I ultimately want to go with my career, and I realized that I really needed to stretch my wings beyond Microsoft," Wilson said in a blog post on Tuesday. In November, after a month off, he will join Google's Fremont, Washington office as a Developer Advocate.

Wilson joined Microsoft's IE team in 1995, just as the original browser wars began. He was eventually dubbed the IE Platform Architect. And as of mid-2009, he was the Principal Program Manager of the Open Web Platform in Microsoft’s Developer Division, working for the team that built the Chakra Javascript engine for Internet Explorer 9, currently in beta

But apparently, he sees bigger opportunities at Google. "I’ll spare the minor details of my decision (other than how excited I am to turn my Office Space style commute into a 6 mile bike ride to Google’s Fremont office), and just say I’m very excited to work for a company that invests so much in making the web platform better for developers and consumers, and I hope that I can use this as an opportunity to not only do no evil, but to actively do good," he said.

Wilson was the man who represented Microsoft on various standards groups – but as of the late, that isn't the extreme paradox it used to be. On the surface, he seems perfect for Google, which has developed its own kind of web standards schizophrenia.

But, according to a post Wilson just made to Twitter, he will not work on Chrome at Google – at least not initially. "I have a 1-year non-compete from Microsoft," he says. ®

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