HP Dumps Famed Visionary Alan Kay

According to Good Morning Silicon Valley: HP Labs Director Dick Lampman announced the cancellation of four of the company's research projects -- the Consumer Applications and Systems Laboratory, the Emerging Technologies Laboratory, the Cambridge Research Laboratory, which worked on health and wellness technology, and the Advanced Software Research team.In disbanding the last group, HP is bidding adieu to legendary Silicon Valley technologist Alan Kay. A founder of Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, Kay -- who once said, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it" -- was instrumental in the development of the windowing GUI and modern object-oriented programming. He envisioned a laptop computer long before the first ones rolled out and his Smalltalk programming language was a predecessor to Sun Microsystems' Java. Hard to believe HP's cutting him loose. But it is. According to the company, his research doesn't jibe with HP's new focus. "I was surprised by [Alan] leaving," said one HP Labs researcher who asked not to be identified. "In the last year, he was kind of the poster child of the 'HP Invent' stuff, and now all of a sudden, he's not here anymore."

Source: Good Morning Silicon Valley

Posted: Thu - July 21, 2005 at 11:28 PM