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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, 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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8 Responses to “Microsoft shakes up Platforms and Services but did the other shoe really drop?”

  1. More skeletons in Vista’s closet? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Finally, despite the widespread expectation that Steve Sinofsky was brought in to shape up Vista development, it’s not clear, as I observed yesterday, that he really has much control over it. Brandon LeBlanc does some digging: A Microsoft spokesperson today was able to confirm for me that this isn’t the case. “While Jim (Allchin) and Brian (Valentine) finish the work on this year, Steven and team will be squarely focused on the future planning for Windows and Windows Live,” the Microsoft spokesperson tells me. Think of it as if Steven Sinofsky taking charge right at Windows code-named “Vienna”. I would assume that any development beginning on “Vienna” now will be supervised under the direction of Sinofsky while Allchin focuses on just getting Vista out the door. [...]

  2. Vista News Notes Roundup -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] “We’ve got to get back into our pattern. We’ve put the master in there now. Steven Sinofsky. And believe you me, we’re going to get that thing into a regular pattern and are driving hard,” Ballmer told CRN last week. We mentioned Sinofsky’s new job back in March when it was announced and observed that areas of responsibility are fairly murky which could lead to disappointment despite the big build-up. Speaking of Sinofsky, it took two men to fill his shoes in the Office organization: Instead of replacing the former head of its Office engineering team with one person, Microsoft Corp. has decided to split Office leadership duties in two, the company said Wednesday. [...]

  3. More Microsoft executive moves -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Now that Senior VP Steven Sinfosky moved from Office to run a major portion of Windows and Windows Live development, he has brought in a number of his previous Office associates: [...]

  4. Bradford to head MSN? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] MSN has lacked an executive since David Cole took a leave of absence in February although technically he was replaced in April by former executive Steve Berkowitz who runs the Online Business Group created in March which includes MSN. [...]

  5. Microsoft nabs CEO to run online businesses -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] The Online Business Group was created in the March reorganization of Microsoft’s Platform and Services Group and reports to Kevin Johnson. Berkowitz is credited in the industry with orchestrating the turnaround of, the Web search and media business acquired by Barry Diller’s conglomerate, IAC/InterActiveCorp, for $1.85 billion 13 months ago. [...]

  6. Windows Live’s Blake Irving to resign? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Irving took over the Windows Live Platform Group less than a year ago. Aside from the oddly overlapping responsibilities of the VPs in Microsoft’s Platform and Services Division and Kevin Johnson’s newly acquired ability to organize things to his own satisfaction now that co-president Jim Allchin has retired, another reason for a change might be rancor over Windows Live’s inability to gain any traction. Filed under Executives, General Business, Employee Retention, Windows Live, Microsoft, Blake Irving [...]

  7. Head of Windows Live Search to leave Microsoft? -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Reportedly no successor has been named. Payne was a direct report to Steven Sinofsky who is head of the Windows and Windows Live Group in Microsoft’s Platform and Services Division. Filed under Executives, General Business, Employee Retention, Microsoft [...]

  8. All about Microsoft mobile edition Says:

    [...] In March 2006, Poole was appointed head of a newly created Windows group focused on emerging markets and new form factors. That group became known as the Unlimited Potential Group, and Poole took on co-leadership of that business in 2007, alongside Senior Vice President Orlando Ayala. [...]

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