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Microsoft Reorganizes Its Windows Groups

A new "core" operating system division is created and several senior managers get new assignments.
In an overhaul of its Platform Group, Microsoft is redistributing the responsibilities of some of the top managers in charge of its desktop and server operating systems. The move is intended to improve software quality, bring more agility to Windows development, and better align development groups with the company's revenue-reporting structure, according to group VP Jim Allchin.

As part of the reorganization, a new Windows Core Operating System Division will be managed by senior VP Brian Valentine, who had been responsible for all Windows development for the past five years. The Windows client business, previously under Valentine, will now report directly to Allchin, while overall responsibility for Windows servers shifts to the server and tools business headed by senior VP Eric Rudder.

"What we're trying to do is create a center for engineering excellence and quality," Allchin says of the Windows Core Operating System Division. Among the technologies within the new division are "core" performance, security, and networking; device management; setup and deployment tools; automated code testing; and productivity tools for Microsoft developers.

Job responsibilities and reporting structures for several executives change in the process. Senior VP Will Poole, who continues to manage the Windows client business, now reports directly to Allchin. Senior VP Bob Muglia takes over management of the Windows server business from VP Bill Veghte, who's now in charge of sales and marketing in North America under group VP Kevin Johnson. Muglia continues to have responsibility for storage and management products.

The new reporting lines are more consistent with the way Microsoft reports sales figures for different product categories each quarter. "We're clarifying roles in terms of P&Ls," Allchin says.

The organizational changes are unrelated to Microsoft's next-generation Longhorn operating system and will not affect the timing of Longhorn, Allchin says. Nor, he says, is the move influenced by Linux or the growing popularity of open-source software. "This is a reaffirmation of how much we believe in our development methodology," he says.

The creation of a core development unit should help Microsoft create platforms that are tailored for different customer segments, but there are no specific plans to do so, Allchin says.