Microsoft has picked up Greg Linden, one of my favorite geeks and the guy who created Findory and Amazon.com’s recommendation engine. Greg’s biggest strength comes in the form of personalized services, as both at Amazon and Findory he designed websites that learned from user behavior and improved what was shown to the user in extremely effective ways, first with books, then with news and blogs.
Now, as Principal Research SDE at Microsoft’s Live Labs, Greg will be working under Gary Flake’s Labs group on something we probably won’t hear much about for awhile, given the secrecy around those guys. I’m hoping he’s bring personalization to Windows Live Search, putting his killer algorithms to the biggest test, and maybe that some form of Findory can live on at Microsoft.
I’m very excited about what Greg could bring to Microsoft, and I know I’m not the only one. I talked to some sources at Microsoft, and while they couldn’t tell me what he’s working on (because they have no idea), they did say they were excited and anticipating something special. Few guys can design software that just works, works extremely well, and actually ship it when needed, and Microsoft now has one of those guys, and hopefully knows how to use him.