Ex-Microsoft exec killed in plane crash

Posted by bink on June 26 2006, 12:02 PM. Posted in Microsoft Corp.

A venture capitalist who was a former Microsoft executive and his pilot died when their single-engine plane crashed and burned shortly after takeoff from the airport here, a coroner said Sunday.

Killed in the Saturday afternoon crash were Jeffrey M. Harbers, 54, who had homes in Big Timber and Medina, and pilot Jason Barton, 31, of Yukon, Okla.

Harbers, an engineering graduate of the University of Washington, led engineering and development work on the Office software program. Friend and former Microsoft co-worker Jeff Raikes said Harbers was considered the leader who shaped the Office development team during the 1980s.

"He had an incredibly important role in creating the (Office) product line that's used by 450 million people today," Raikes said. Harbers also served as director of Microsoft applications development and as general manager of the data access business unit.

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