Has it been six months already? Microsoft committed yet another executive reorganization this week, its third in eighteen months. Designed primarily to make room for its new .NET initiative, Microsoft's latest reorg divides the company into groups that will focus on its core businesses. New among these is a .NET Services Group, which will be led by vice president Bob Muglia. Muglia will lead the development of the .NET software technologies, subscription services, and user interface (the so-called user experience) that will target consumers, businesses, and software developers. Microsoft president and CEO Steve Ballmer says that the change is one of the most profound the company has ever undergone.
".NET is our most ambitious undertaking since Internet Strategy Day in 1995. Just as we did then, we are moving quickly to develop the core building blocks that will enable us to deliver this dynamic infrastructure," Ballmer says. "We have assembled a formidable team of leaders that, with our existing software assets and our commitment to investing significantly in R&D, strongly positions Microsoft to create valuable services for the PC and a whole new set of connected devices."
The .NET Services Group will also include senior vice president David Cole, senior vice presidents Brian McDonald, and vice president Kai-Fu Lee reporting directly to Muglia. The three will work with the back-end services that drive MSN and .NET, a new Subscription Service Division, and a next generation user interface that incorporates natural language and speech technologies, respectively. The .NET Services Group will be part of the new Personal Services and Devices Group (PSDG), which will be led by group vice president Rick Belluzzo. PSDG will also oversee MSN, Microsoft TV, the Home and Retail division, and the Mobility group. "With this new team, we are bringing together the .NET Platform, the momentum of MSN, the delivery of personal subscription services, and new devices in a way that will take the Internet and the benefits of technology to a new level for consumers while creating exciting growth opportunities for Microsoft,'' Belluzzo says.
Jeff Raikes will oversee the Productivity and Business Services Group, which is responsible for Microsoft Office, Office.NET, the Business Applications division, the Business Tools division (Visio and Microsoft Project), and a new group called eMerging Technologies. Somewhat surprisingly, Microsoft named Jim Allchin as the leader of the Platform Products Group, which will oversee the development of Windows, including Windows.NET. Allchin has been on an extended leave from the company and is not expected to return, so this announcement may have been a face-saving measure. Paul Flessner will lead the .NET Enterprise Server Division, which will launch seven new products this year: SQL Server 2000, Exchange Server 2000, BizTalk Server 2000, Application Center 2000, Host Integration Server 2000, Commerce Server 2000, and Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000.
Paul Maritz will continue to head the business development and overall platform product strategy; he will oversee the development of Visual Studio.NET