Celebrated Windows expert Mark Russinovich has joined the Windows Azure team.
Microsoft Technical Fellow Russinovich is considered one of the foremost experts — inside or outside Microsoft — on the inner workings of Windows. He was the cofounder (in 1996) of Winternals Software — a company which Microsoft acquired in 2006. He also cofounded Sysinternals.com, for which he’s written dozens of Windows utilities, including Filemon, Regmon, Process Explorer, Rootkit Revealer and more. Prior to that, Russinovich was a resarcher at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center, specializing in operating-system support for Web-server acceleration.
For the past three years, Russinovich has been working on the Windows Core Operating Systems Division (COSD) team. In that position, he spent a lot of time working on architectural best practices, which included the creation of an architectural “constitution” which outlines the layers in Windows (along with the functionality in each layer) and guidance on application-programming interface (API) design.
I found out about Russinovich's new role via a tweet from Microsoft developer evangelist Matthijs Hoekstra. Hoekstra was one of many Microsoft employees attending the company's internal TechReady conference in Seattle this week who managed to cram into Russinovich's presentation there. Another tweet, from Softie Srinam Krishnan, revealed that Russinovich has joined the Azure team within the past month.
I've asked Microsoft for more about what Russinovich will be doing on Windows Azure, but have yet to hear back.
A number of operating-system heavyweights are already working on Windows Azure. The team -- back when Azure was known by its "Red Dog" codename -- originally was comprised of a number of long-time Windows experts from COSD and other parts of the company. The father of NT, Dave Cutler, was one of the Windows Azure founding members and is still working on the virtualization and other components of the core Windows Azure operating system.
At the end of 2009, Microsoft folded the Azure team into the Server and Tools business and combined the teams. Microsoft is "leading with the cloud," going forward, meaning it is going to try to get customers and partners to adopt its cloud offerings rather than on-premises alternatives. But will cloud economics add up in both Microsoft's -- and its customers -- favor?