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James Allard (aka J Allard) (born January 12 1969 in Glens Falls, New York) is a Corporate Vice President and the Chief XNA Architect at Microsoft. He also oversaw Microsoft's first foray into the video game industry, the Xbox. Allard oversees all design and engineering for the Xbox console, peripherals, Microsoft's multiplayer online service Xbox Live, as well as development tools for video game developers. His responsibilities for Xbox carried over to Microsoft's 2005 video game console, the Xbox 360.
He is known for his historic 1995 memo, "Windows: The Next Killer Application on the Internet", about the coming rise of the Internet. The memo, distributed to Microsoft leaders, reshaped the company's direction. A Boston University graduate with a bachelor's degree in computer science, Allard has also been known to play The Game as part of Team Pink. On Xbox Live, Allard's Gamertag is "HiroProtagonist".
Allard is overseeing development of the Microsoft Zune, a handheld portable media device, initially seen by some media as a potential iPod rival. Allard has notably signed several artists, including Bubba Dossett as part of a broad Zune marketing campaign by Microsoft, which included heavy promotion during Seattle's Bumbershoot festival in 2006.