Where Is Xbox Visionary J Allard?

Baja 1000 race

Photo: David Maung/AP

Where in the world is J Allard?When the Xbox visionary left Microsoft last May, the departure announcement said that he offered to stay on in an advisory role. 

But a Microsoft spokesperson says he’s pretty much gone incognito. When he left, J expressed a desire to take some time and enjoy life, but offered his help as needed. According to this spokesperson and other sources, there hasn’t been much contact since. He’s definitely not a full time employee: his old Microsoft phone numbers and emails don’t work.

So what IS he up to these days?

Off-road racing in Baja California, for one thing.

In November, he joined former Windows head Brian Valentine (now at Amazon) to race a souped-up dune buggy in the Baja 1000 — their team finished third in the Baja Challenge class. It’s a crazy jaunt through the Mexican desert, where spectators sometimes gather to watch the racers navigate improvised jumps and booby traps.

He’s also on the board of directors of The Clymb, an online community that offers discounts on active wear. rumour says he was also contributing to some sort of book or Web site about product design, but that project hasn’t surfaced.

Allard declined to talk to SAI, and sources say he’s happy to be out of the spotlight.


While waiting for him the former Xbox visionary to make his next move in the tech world, check out these pics of the Baja 1000 from past years.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson contacted us to say that J Allard’s quote about courage printed in Xbox World 360 was fabricated. The quote and the link have been removed.

This isn't the class of car he raced, but it's similar

Check out that dust -- better wear a face mask.

A helicopter hovers over the course.

The race dates back to 1962, when two riders time-tested a dirt bike. Motorcycles are still common.

But today, a lot of the competitors race trucks.

Some race ATVs.

Spectators line some parts of the course...

Especially where they can watch vehicles leave the ground.

This truck is travelling about 100 miles an hour.

Here's another one at the same spot.

That air is no joke.

Allard isn't the only former Microsoftie who knows how to have fun.

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