What are a nice bunch of Microsoft Web services guys doing in Xbox land?

Summary:As word swirls of an imminent Microsoft management shake-up around the Server and Tools Business, I've been wondering about what's happening on the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) side of the Microsoft house.

As word swirls of an imminent Microsoft management shake-up around the Server and Tools Business, I've been wondering about what's happening on the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) side of the Microsoft house.

I've noticed in a couple of postings over on the anonymously-penned Mini Microsoft blog mentions of an IEB reorg. In a late January posting, Mini himself (a k a "Who 'Da Punk") said the most recent "massive" IEB reorg was completed. When I've asked Microsoft officials about changes in the IEB structure, I've gotten the silent treatment.

But I did notice a couple of interesting recent changes in IEB, the part of Microsoft that currently encompasses the Xbox/gaming; IPTV; Media Center; Zune; and mobile communications businesses.

In May 2010, David Treadwell -- the former Corporate Vice President of the Live Platform Services group in the Windows and Windows Live Division -- moved to IEB to do some vaguely specified services stuff. On January 24, 2011, Microsoft updated Treadwell's bio page with an updated job description. According to the refreshed page:

"David Treadwell is a corporate vice president at Microsoft, where he leads the Interactive Entertainment Business's Software and Services (ISS) engineering teams. This includes the development, test and operations disciplines for ISS. Treadwell works closely with technical leaders across the company to align Interactive Entertainment Business product teams with Microsoft's overall services strategy and product architecture, and drives the technical and design agenda to deliver connected entertainment platforms and experiences for consumers."

Who else is part of ISS?

Distinguished Engineer Don Box, known for his work on SOAP, Web services and the M declarative language, for one. After asking around, I learned that Box has officially moved over to work on ISS dev platform R&D. He is doing software/services work for Xbox Program Manager Omri Gazzit, I hear. His new role somehow involves bringing Visual Studio and SQL Server Modeling Services to programmers.

(Another former CSD/Indigo (Windows Communication Foundation) veteran, Joe Long, also is on the IEB side of the house, according to a couple of posters on Mini Microsoft, and has been for some time. Long was formerly General Manager in the Identity and Security division at Microsoft, last I heard.)

Why are these former Connected Systems Division folks going to Xbox land? What do Microsoft technologies like Astoria, the Entity Data Model (EDM), Entity Framework (EF) and M have to do with gaming and TV? Anyone have any theories or knowledge to share?

Topics: Enterprise Software, Browser, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Networking, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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

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