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

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

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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 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).

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53 comments
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  • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

    I think Mary Jo is on crack if she thinks Bach leaving is 'positive'.Ballmer FIRED the guy to keep him from SUCCEEDING him!
    mac504
    • Microsoft's dog-eat-dog culture keeps claiming victims

      Business as usual in Redmond, nothing new there.
      OS Reload
      • Business as usual from OS Reload

        You ridicule MS for not "comming out with things people want" or make jokes about the products they do, and yet you turn around an claim that these people fired are "just victims"?
        So what you are comming straight out to say is that MS should keep the people that put out products that nobody wants to buy, right?
        I am basing this on all of your past, and recent posts, so tell us why MS should keep people around that you claim have failed the company?

        This oughta' be good...
        John Zern
      • it's embarrassing

        No products just talk and people shuffling. What a company!
        Richard Flude
      • @John Zern

        [i]So what you are comming straight out to say is that MS should keep the people that put out products that nobody wants to buy, right?[/i]

        That's the gist of it. Good idea, too... ;)
        ubiquitous one
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        Beyond Bach's departure no changed today at Microsoft.
        angel tenan
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        share price that is flat over the last 10 years. " god, 10 year before, that's tech bubble at the biggest. What is it now? we are still not out of worst recession. For the record, in past 10 years, stock return is negative, there are only twice in the history of stock market. Yes, you may tell me that, stock A or B is doing better, but that's not rule rather an exception. <br><br>If you say if there is anything that msft had done wrong, that's the plan of "longhorn". But that's<a href="http://ipadbagblog.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> ipad bag blog</font></a> of best <a href="http://www.sutudeg.org/"><font color="light&amp;height">sutudeg community</font></a> the modern <a href="http://wposfv.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">education news</font></a> and hardly Baller's fault
        Proksi Pasang bck
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

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

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

        Dynamics CRM. Windows Server isn?t eligible for inclusion, and Windows Server operating system
        Ndusel
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        License Mobility kicks in as of July 1. Server applications that can be licensed under the program
        Ndusel
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        with the ability to assign your existing licenses to a authorized Service Provider.?
        Ndusel
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        License Mobility through Software Assurance? is one of these volume-licensing program changes.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        cloud-focused licensing changes from the company commence.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        But to clear the mobile devices management at such a critical time could hardly be positive, unless things are going very wrong for Windows Phone<a href="http://www.accessmedicalbooks.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> accessmedicalbooks</font></a> from this we <a href="http://www.cartecampus.com/"><font color="light&amp;height">cartecampus</font></a> to get the <a href="http://www.internetparalaevangelizacion.org/"><font color="light&amp;height">internetparalaevangelizacion</font></a> will have any <a href="http://www.pcloshwdb.com/"><font color="light&amp;height"> pcloshwdb</font></a> that can be <a href="http://www.estudielenco.net/"><font color="light&amp;height">estudielenco</font></a> from 7.
        Ndusel
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        @OS Reload The consortium is paying $4.5 billion in cash for the Nortel patents, of which Ericsson?s contribution is $340 million, the Wall Street Journal said on June 30. A Reuters report earlier this year said Google was willing to pay $900 million for the Nortel patent portfolio.
        Arabalar
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        @OS Reload Doesn't take a iCrAppleholic getting buzzed on the RDF (Reality Distortion Field) at the iGenius Bar to figure out that Steve realizes he's losing his Magical and Revolutionary edge as a con artist! .....notice that his Fragmentation bullshizt story blew junks in his face as they his App choice flipped his whole story on it's ear!!!! haha..... it's hell getting old and finding his gypsy touch has left him!
        Arabalar
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        @OS Reload I don't see how this is a rant. It actually very well structured, presents clear arguments, is focused, and it addressed the target of investors that want to know more about the rationale behind their strategy. You may or may not agree with it, but it is far from a rant.
        Arabalar
      • RE: Beyond Bach's departure: What else changed today at Microsoft?

        @OS Reload Yeah, people love to repeat that "competition is good for users" mantra but it's not true when half of the players in a given market are phoning it in (so to speak.) The half-baked crap being dumped into the market by most of these companies will actually hurt users when they get suckered into buying them. At this point, there are only one or two phones I'd want to own. If there were indeed true competition, with a batch of companies truly trying to compete, not just dumping beta products into the bargain bins in the hopes of snagging the profits of 2-year contracts, then the consumer would benefit. As it stands, not so much.
        Arabalar
    • LOL

      That is one crazy theory. Ballmer -- unless the MS board fires him -- is going to be CEO as long as he wants. Bach wasn't a CEO rival of Ballmer's...

      I think the Windows Mobile division at MS has been stagnating for a long time. Sometimes you need new blood to do that... MJ
      Mary Jo Foley