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March 23, 2006

Microsoft shakes up Platforms and Services but did the other shoe really drop?

Posted by David Hunter at 5:38 PM ET.

As rumored, Microsoft shook up Windows development by putting Steven Sinofsky in charge. Sort of. The full press release (see also the internal Microsoft memo) raises more questions than it answers, but one thing is clear – there is no shortage of Vice Presidents at Microsoft and they each get their own independent but overlapping pieces of the pie in the Platform and Services Division.

Let’s start with Sinofsky:

Windows and Windows Live Group

With Sinofsky in charge, the Windows and Windows Live Group will have engineering teams focused on delivering Windows and engineering teams focused on delivering the Windows Live experiences.

Sounds like he’s in charge of developing Windows and Windows Live, right? Not so fast:

Core Operating System Division (COSD)

Brian Valentine will continue to lead this group, which is focused on building the industry’s leading operating system foundation to power Microsoft’s platform products. Valentine’s mission remains focused on shipping Windows Vista.

Windows Live Platform Group

Blake Irving will lead the newly formed Windows Live Platform Group, which unites a number of MSN teams that have been building platform services and capabilities for Microsoft’s online offerings. This group provides the back-end infrastructure services, platform capabilities and global operational support for services being created in Windows Live, Office Live, and other Microsoft and third-party applications that use the Live platform. This includes the advertising and monetization platforms that support all Live service offerings.

I’ll bet the lines of responsibility are clear there! A Microsoft spokesman denied that the Vista schedule slip had anything to do with the reorganization and looking at it, you can well believe the denial.

Of course there is more – also reporting to the PSD co-Presidents, Kevin Johnson and Jim Allchin (who will retire next year), are:

Online Business Group

The new Online Business Group includes advertising sales, business development and marketing for Live Platforms, Windows Live and MSN — including MSN.com, MSNTV and MSN Internet Access. David Cole, senior vice president, will lead this group until his successor is named before his leave of absence at the end of April.

Market Expansion Group

Will Poole will be moving to lead a newly created group focused on emerging markets and new form factors. Establishing a Market Expansion organization with product marketing and research and development responsibilities will bring focus to this key growth area for Microsoft and its potential customers around the world through products such as Windows XP Starter Edition and the recently launched Ultra-Mobile PC devices.

Windows Client Marketing Group

Mike Sievert continues to lead Windows Client Marketing and remains responsible for product management and marketing of the Windows operating system, including Windows Vista.

Server and Tools Business Group

Bob Muglia will continue to lead Microsoft’s rapidly growing Server and Tools business, and remains focused on products and services that empower IT pros and developers.

Developer and Platform Evangelism Group

Sanjay Parthasarathy will continue to lead the developer and platform evangelism efforts for the company as Microsoft further enables developers to build applications combining software and services.

These seem fairly straightforward and it’s nice to see that Server and Tools was fortunate enough not to get “clarified.” It’s a cash cow that’s growing nicely, but never gets the buzz. Finally, besides all the divisions and groups above, the PSD co-Presidents have all the usual staff executives from finance, legal and HR reporting to them too as described in the internal Microsoft memo obtained by Microsoft Watch.



Filed under Blake Irving, Bob Muglia, Brian Valentine, Executives, Jim Allchin, Kevin Johnson, Microsoft, Mike Sievert, Sanjay Parthasarathy, Steven Sinofsky, Will Poole

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