Much has been made over Satya Nadella, Microsoft's brand new CEO, and his choices for top posts in the company's latest reorganization. Microsoft's new way forward seems to surprise some industry analysts, which to me, is a bit shocking considering Satya had just recently been the leader of the System Center and Cloud areas at Microsoft. System Center and Cloud have fueled a lot of Microsoft's successes over the past few years, so to me it's only logical that Microsoft's new era would take the same shape as that group. Microsoft hired Satya for a reason, so it should come as no surprise that Mobile First, Cloud First is intended to put a "Cloud on every desk," or every device as the times require.
Replacing Satya's leadership in the System Center and Cloud focus areas is Scott Guthrie, a very public figure intent on delivering a blurred on-premises/public Cloud infrastructure for the future. Scott has been a great proponent for Microsoft Azure for the past few years, ensuring that any and all feature updates to Azure is publicly announced on his blog and promoting them publicly when offered. Scott, of course, is most notably recognized by his red polo shirt, maybe in an attempt to thwart the bad karma represented by anyone wearing a red shirt in a Star Trek landing party. He's tempting fate, but, so far, he's succeeding.
But, despite these two, very large personalities, Microsoft needs a rock star that can provide a very public, trusted and empowering persona as the face of Microsoft's Cloud. Much has started to be made over Mark Russinovich. Mark exudes a very boyish and playful attitude, which is exactly what Microsoft needs to show that the company can be agile and competitive, and is not satisfied with being stuck in the quagmire of the past like an HP and an IBM. Through his Rick Springfield-like looks and a past that has already won many fans, Mark is once again gaining favor in the eyes of the industry. This time it's for his work for Microsoft, instead of his work against it, as shown in the early days of the SysInternals tools.
So, maybe it's time for us all to get a better look at Mr. Russinovich. I know many of you are fans already and most of us use SysInternals utilities daily, and rely on them. Wired today, has an excellent write-up and interview with Mark that is very much worth reading. It really goes into the details of how Mark went from being hated by Microsoft to leading the Cloud charge, both internally and publicly.
And, while you're at it, check out Rick Claus' interview with Mark at TechEd 2014. Rick does a great job in the interview (despite being obviously nervous and star struck), allowing Mark to provide some great details on his work at Microsoft.