In what I consider surprising timing, Microsoft announced on January 10 that one of its three corporate presidents, Jeff Raikes, is retiring in September 2008. Raikes will be succeeded by Stephen Elop, who until today was chief operating officer at Juniper Networks.
All About Microsoft
Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley's blog covers the products, people and strategies that make Microsoft tick.
Mary Jo Foley
Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
While the the Microsoft depature upon which most company watchers focused this week was that of Bruce Jaffe -- the former Mergers & Acquisitions Chief -- another Microsoft veteran is moving on, as well. Charles Fitzgerald, Microsoft's General Manager of Platform Strategy, is leaving the company to join a startup.
Microsoft has started what is expected to be a four- to six-week rollout of new features and functionality for its Office Live Small Business service.
Microsoft is continuing to test its Microsoft-hosted CRM product, Dynamics CRM Live, and delivered on January 9 an updated "early access" version of the service, which it is offering to more customers and partners.
A day after published reports quoting One Laptop Per Child Chief Nicholas Negroponte as saying OLPC XO laptops would dual boot Linux and Windows, Microsoft is denying that the company is pursuing such a plan.
Microsoft made availble to testers on January 9 yet another refresh of Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 Release Candidate (RC) test build -- but to its core group of 15,000 testers only.
Much is being made of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' proclamation this week that Microsoft won't release an iPhone competitor. But I interpret Gates' remarks a bit differently than some Microsoft watchers. I think all Gates is saying Microsoft won't build a phone.
Microsoft -- always in search of ways to prove it's an innovator and not just an imitator -- is continuing to rely on its various "Labs" incubators for new services and components that it can roll up into new and existing paid products.
Nicholas Negroponte, head of the OLPC initiative, was quoted by Computerworld as saying Microsoft is working with the OLPC team on a dual-boot Windows XP/Linux XO laptop. Microsoft hasn't (yet) acknowledged whether this is the case. If it is, you've got to wonder why a dual-boot XO would make sense.
Beyond supplementing Microsoft's SharePoint technology, what will Fast Search & Transfer, Microsoft's latest acquisition target, contribute to Microsoft's search products and strategy? Microsoft and Fast shared a few more tidbits about potential areas of cooperation during a conference call with press and analysts on January 8.