Microsoft Pulls On The Reorg Boots

    March 24, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The company’s Platform & Services Division (PSD) has been reorganized into an eight-headed organization aimed at aligning “Windows and MSN assets with Microsoft’s overall Live strategy.”

Not long before Microsoft’s public relations team officially distributed the news of the reorganization, the Valleywag tech gossip site received a copy of PSD co-president Kevin Johnson’s internal memo and summed up Johnson’s take on MSN and Live:

“Our software + service approach and the expertise we have built in MSN can support innovation agility as we enable the Live era.” In other words, “Thanks for training the next generation. Don’t let the door hit you…”

Though there has not yet been a mass of Microsofties being escorted to the parking lot by security, a couple of MSN higher-ups, David Cole and Michael Rawding, are in the process of leaving MSN.

Also, former MSN Information Services engineering leader Yusuf Mehdi has the new title of senior vice-president and chief advertising strategist. His former position included overseeing MSN’s entry into the search engine world.

MSN Search trails Google and Yahoo in terms of overall search market share.

Steven Sinofsky, senior vice-president, will lead the Windows and Windows Live group. He has been the head of the Office team, where he gained a reputation for running a “tight ship,” as blogger Dare Obasanjo noted:

One comes to expect a reorg every year at Microsoft so this one was about due. Steven Sinofsky comes off as a great guy from his blog and the Office product team runs as a pretty tight ship so this can only be good for Windows Live.

Office 2007 has slipped a bit with its release date, being moved into 2007 to coincide with the consumer release of the Vista operating system. Volume licensing customers will receive the newest versions of Vista and Office in late 2006 though, Joe Wilcox at Microsoft Monitor reported.

The reorg comes on the heels of Microsoft pushing Vista’s consumer release into 2007. Did that drive the formation of Microsoft’s new eight-headed beast? Todd Bishop blogged how he was told the Vista slip and the big reorg are not connected:

A Microsoft spokesman, Frank Shaw, said the changes have been in the works for months and aren’t related to this week’s decision to delay the retail release of Windows Vista.

Bishop also recounted his conversation with a former Microsoft product manager who affirmed the same observation made by Obasanjo, that Sinofsky runs a tight ship whose projects were never “late or untidy.”

With Vista running about five years behind schedule, Sinofsky sounds like the person to keep Microsoft’s future Windows efforts on track. Maybe a return to a more regular OS release schedule will help Microsoft’s revenue stream and kick the company’s moribund stock price out of its doldrums too.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.