Brace yourself for weirdness: Our buddy Todd at TechFlash unearthed a guitar-drenched musical extravaganza by Jim Allchin, the former Windows chief who many think mismanaged Vista into the ground.

Though he looks like a young feller on the album cover, Allchin's pushing 60—having spent 16 years at Microsoft before retiring the day Vista launched. Though many execs are to blame for Vista's combination of problems, people I speak to now like to finger Allchin—a conveniently absent fall guy—for not being a strong enough manager. He actually briefed me on Vista about a year before it launched, and seemed like a nice enough guy. Of course, he was not wearing a sleeveless t-shirt at the time, nor did he mention his passion for guitar-driven adult-contemporary ballads.


True to his roots, at least some of the songs have a tech angle, such as the opening track, "Enigma Machines." Allchin's website explains:

Enigma Machines were early encoders/decoders for cryptography. They had many rotors and the guitar sound in this song reminds me of this amazing device as well as the intensity of the search for an answer to some puzzle...


Of course there are more songs with corny romantic themes, such as "She's in Love with Me," which he calls "a little latin number about a sexy Caterina."

To those wondering if he went the route of T-Pain and Kanye, he did in fact, use auto-tuning, as the first measures of the cheese-rock "Let's Play" can attest. In fairness, Allchin does sing the praises of the computer-assisted recording process, though many producers feel it can be soul-sapping. You can hear all of the songs on the sample page. I'll warn you, a little goes a long way, especially if you feel like making a Songsmith joke.


This might not be the tech-industry equivalent of discovering Scooter Libby's novel (among other things, it lacks any reference to human-orsine coitus). But in his solo project, Allchin might have buried a mea culpa or two. One track is entitled "I'm Your Man," and another is called "I'm About to Fall." A little too late for that, Jim, but good luck with the world tour. [TechFlash]