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This is purely speculation at this point, so take it with a grain of salt, and hold back the tears of outrage and disbelief, because for all we know (and hope), this could be untrue. But based on  Recent reports buzzing around the interworld, there is a possibility that  J Allard, the head of the design team responsible for the Xbox, Xbox 360 and Zune, will be leaving Microsoft, due to fallout over the cancellation of his latest project.

Since completing the Xbox 360, it seems that Allard has been working on the Courier, which is being touted as an innovative tablet computer concept that would be marketed to rival the iPad. However,  for reasons unknown, with rumours ranging from fear of Apple’s iPad success to anger over leaks of the device’s concept design, the project was recently canned by Microsoft. This spurred rumoured arguments and tension between Allard and the exec team over at Microsoft, the subject of which seemed to be the potential of the tablet. And it’s in the midst of all this argument and tension that it’s now being reported that Allard is on “sabbatical” and “is unlikely to return to Microsoft.”

And that folks, is where we are at this point. As we said, nothing is set in stone, and none of the reports have been able to deliver a fully fleshed out story on what has happened to this point. However, the few facts that are known seem to point to a definite struggle between some of the head honchos over at Microsoft, with Allard on the dissatisfied end. We will keep you updated as things develop, and hope (along with many) that this will all blow over. For any faults he may have, this man is the father of the Xbox, Xbox Live and the Zune. He has made enormous contributions to the gaming industry, and his judgment and intuition would be missed.

How do you guys think this would impact Microsoft? Can there be another sucessful Xbox product if J Allard is gone? Comment below and let us know.  No registration required to comment.

via [ZDNETKotakuGizmodo]