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Microsoft axes Live Labs; Gary Flake resigns

Software maker transfers projects and personnel from the five-year-old program into its Bing group, with the exception of the group's leader, who's leaving the company.

Microsoft has decided to reorganize its once highly touted Live Labs--a nearly five-year-old development effort headed by former Yahoo executive Gary Flake, who now plans to leave the company.


The company noted the changes in a posting on the Live Labs Web site, while Flake tweeted about his departure earlier today.

"After nearly five years as a lab within Microsoft, the Live Labs team is transitioning to Bing, where we'll play a more direct role in future Bing innovations," the team wrote in the post. "We're looking forward to contributing our Web UX and data visualization know-how to improve your Bing experience. Our transition to Bing and the associated details will be worked out through the remainder of October."

Microsoft had already scaled back Live Labs last year, sending about half the unit's workers to various product teams.

A Microsoft representative said that Flake plans to stay at the company through the end of the month to help with the transition. While Flake is leaving Microsoft, the unit's 68 other workers will move into the Bing unit. No decisions have been made about the company's current projects, which include Pivot, Microsoft said.

The news was first reported earlier today by ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley.