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Thursday, June 22, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Microsoft, Taylor still mum on abrupt departure

Seattle Times staff

Martin Taylor, former Windows Live marketing chief, left Microsoft on Tuesday, even though he was all over the company's press releases earlier this week. His abrupt departure has raised lots of questions, such as why he left and where he might end up.

"He hasn't landed here," said Courtney Hohne, spokeswoman for Google, which is a direct competitor of the Windows Live services that Taylor was to market.

A year ago, Microsoft sued Google after Kai-Fu Lee, a vice president at Microsoft who oversaw development of MSN Internet search technology, left the company in July to work for Google. The parties settled that lawsuit in December.

Another Silicon Valley competitor, Yahoo!, also has denied that Taylor has joined the company.

In March, Taylor, 36, was named to be corporate vice president of Windows Live and MSN marketing after 13 years with the company that included high-profile roles close to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

Microsoft confirmed Taylor's departure on Tuesday but did not elaborate. Taylor could not be reached for comment.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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