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Microsoft Shifts Server And Developer Tools Business

Microsoft announced today that it is moving senior VP Bob Muglia and his server and tools group from Microsoft's platform products and services division to the business division. The move makes some sense, but it's partially a head scratcher.
Microsoft announced today that it is moving senior VP Bob Muglia and his server and tools group from Microsoft's platform products and services division to the business division. The move makes some sense, but it's partially a head scratcher.Those confused can look to Microsoft's canned-statement tea leaves: "Microsoft senior leadership decided to make these changes to sharpen leadership focus on the company's top priorities and align its organization for innovation, ultimately enabling it to deliver even more value to its customers."

Under the new structure, Muglia, who oversees developer tools, server and management applications, and enterprise services, now will report to Jeff Raikes, president of Microsoft's business division. Most of the things Muglia oversees are business-related, such as Windows Server, BizTalk Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, and System Center. They seem to fit alongside the likes of Office and Dynamics. That gives Raikes more focus. All (well, mostly, but we'll get to that later) business products, all the time.

Muglia formerly reported to Kevin Johnson, president of the platform products and services division. Since that division is otherwise about online services and Windows, it frees Johnson up to think more about future versions of Windows and, even more critically, online services. That means fighting Google and Linux.

From a a more granular level, there's a lot more to parse. For example, what's Visual Studio still doing here under Raikes (via Muglia)? Sure, some development is done in enterprises, but development tools seem way more platform-oriented than business-oriented. They can be used across product lines for creating a spectrum of applications.

Then again, the definition of "platform" is quite flexible. Things like SQL Server and Windows Server are mighty "platform-y," since lots of other products and services are built using them as a base. The SQL Server business is even part of a "data and storage platform" unit. Need another monkey wrench? Office is even arguably a platform technology today, what with companies developing things for SharePoint. I guess nothing's perfect.