Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

Summary:Most Microsoft watchers are focused on the depatures of President Robbie Bach and Chief Experience Officer J Allard that were announced on May 25 by CEO Steve Ballmer as part of a big reorg at Microsoft. But there were some other moves that were part of today's announcement that are getting less scrutiny but shouldn't be ignored

Most Microsoft watchers are focused on the depatures of President Robbie Bach and Chief Experience Officer J Allard that were announced on May 25 by CEO Steve Ballmer as part of a big reorg at Microsoft.

But there were some other moves that were part of today's announcement that are getting less scrutiny but shouldn't be ignored. These include:

1. Windows Web Services is born. Antoine Leblond, who has been Senior Vice President of the Office Productivity Applications Group, is moving to a new role: Senior Vice President for the Windows Web Services team. What is Windows Web Services? Good question. CEO Steve Ballmer's e-mail describes it as "integral Windows services that today deliver updates, solutions, community and depth information for the Windows consumer." Leblond will be reporting directly to Windows/Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky. However, Windows Web Services has nothing to do with Windows Live, the Softies say.

2. Office gets a new engineering chief. Kurt DelBene, Senior Vice President of the Office Business Productivity Group, is now head of all of the engineering responsibilities for the Office business.

3. Former Live Platform Services head David Treadwell moves out of the Windows division and into the Interactive Entertainment Business (the part of Microsoft that oversees Xbox and video games). So what does this mean for the increasingly invisible Windows Live Platform for developers? A Microsoft spokesperson said the Live Platform is still around and under Corporate Vice President Chris Jones. But it's been a long, long time since Microsoft has shared any information about what's going on for developers on the Windows Live front....

4. Ballmer's decision not to replace Bach has a precedent. Remember when former Windows Platform and Services Kevin Johnson quit in 2008 to join Juniper Networks? Ballmer had Windows and online services report directly to him for a while in order to try to get those houses in order. Seems like he's doing the same with gaming and mobile with today's reorg. (At some point I bet he'll appoint a new Mobile President. We'll see, though....)

5. The Mac Business Unit (MacBU) is being moved into the Microsoft Business Division as part of today's moves, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed. I also asked what's happening with the Surface team; no word back so far. The spokesperson said that the Specialized Devices and Applications team under Rusty Jeffress -- which is where MacBU, Embedded, Auto, Surface and Hardware -- will continue to operate under Bach until his transition period ends this fall. Where these other teams will move after that is TBD (to be determined), the spokesperson added.

6. Mindy Mount is now the Corporate Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Microsoft's Online Services Division. Until today, she was CVP and CFO of the Entertainment and Devices Division.

Reactions to the news about Bach and Allard leaving are mixed. Some seem to see the move as the beginning of the end for Microsoft in the entertainment/consumer space. Others -- including the anonymous Microsoft blogger  Who'da Punk (a k a Mini Microsoft) -- see the changes as positive.

I have to say I'm more in the latter camp: I think the Entertainment and Devices division needed a shaking up. I'm just not 100 percent convinced that Ballmer is the right guy to be leading the mobile and gaming charge. What's your reaction to today's news?

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.