Other notable deaths


June 28, 2006

Jeffrey M. Harbers, 54, who was one of Microsoft Corp.'s first employees and was instrumental in developing early versions of its successful Office business software, died along with another pilot in a single-engine plane crash Saturday in Montana.

Mr. Harbers owned a ranch near Big Timber, Mont., and also lived in the upscale Seattle suburb of Medina near Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., campus. The aircraft was registered to his venture capital firm, JMH Capital LLC in Medina, according to a Federal Aviation Administration database.

He graduated from the University of Washington in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Before joining Microsoft, Mr. Harbers had worked in Alaska and at a research center in Antarctica, the university said.

In the 1980s, he led engineering and development of Office, the software for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. Office continues to be one of Microsoft's most successful products, raking in billions of dollars in profits for the company. He left Microsoft in the early 1990s.

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