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One of the brains behind Cortana is leaving Microsoft

A long-standing Microsoft employee, and one of the forces behind the development of Cortana, has left the Redmond fold.

Savas Parastatidis has been with Microsoft for almost a decade, but just revealed in a blog post (spotted by WinBeta) that he is now on his way after having the honour of having worked with a lot of “incredibly smart people”.

Parastatidis was in Microsoft Research initially, before moving to products – and working on elements such as speech comprehension for the Xbox One – before moving on to Cortana. He built the early prototype for Redmond’s digital assistant which was apparently codenamed “Wicked”. This showed how Bing services could be pulled together to fashion a virtual assistant – and when the Windows Phone team reached out to Bing for Cortana, Parastatidis became involved working under Mike Calcagno on Cortana’s initial and second iterations.

Parastatidis wrote in his blog post: “The Cortana project has a special place in my heart. It’s always been my dream to build a personal assistant. I believe that our futures will include an omni-present, ambient, personal assistant with personality to act as the bridge to the world of information and services in the cloud.”

He then promised that next year’s version of Cortana is looking “awesome already”.

Parastatidis doesn’t say what he’s going to do now, just that he’s off to his next adventure, which is a topic for a different blog post.