Microsoft veteran Guggenheimer takes over Developer Evangelism team

Microsoft veteran Guggenheimer takes over Developer Evangelism team

Summary: Less than a month ahead of the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft is shuffling chiefs of its Developer and Platform Evangelism group.


There's been a changing of the guard in Microsoft's Developer and Platform Evangelism (DPE) division, less than a month before Windows 8 launches.

Walid Abu-Hadba, the Corporate Vice President in charge of Microsoft's DPE since 2007, is leaving the company.


Taking his place is another Microsoft vet, Steve Guggenheimer, who is now Corporate Vice President of DPE, effective immediately, according to a couple of my sources.

Guggenheimer was the CVP of Microsoft's OEM division until June 30, 2012. At the time he left that position, Microsoft officials said he would be taking on a new senior leadership role at the company at a later date. Guggenheimer had headed the OEM division since 2008. 

DPE plays a key a role in Microsoft developer business across sales, technical evangelism and marketing. With Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 launches happening at the end of this month, followed by Microsoft's biggest developer conference of the year -- Build 2012 -- the pressure is on for Microsoft to extend its outreach to developers across its PC, phone and cloud platforms. At last count the Windows 8 Store had just over 2,000 new Windows RT-based apps in it. Update: It's now up to 3,600-plus, as of October 3, says Wes Miller on WinAppUpdate.

Microsoft originally formed DPE in 2001. The head of the original DPE was Eric Rudder, who is still at Microsoft and is Chief Technical Strategy Officer.

The original description of DPE's charter is worth revisiting:

"The Developer and Platform Evangelism Division will coordinate the overall programming model for the PC and server, create tools for the Microsoft .NET Platform, and foster synergies between Windows and the .NET Enterprise Server offerings. In addition, the division will be chartered with evangelizing the extended Microsoft platform through a variety of content offerings, such as books, online learning, courseware and exams, for developers, IT managers, business decision-makers and consumers. This division also will run Microsoft's corporate Web site."

I've asked Microsoft officials for confirmation of the changing of the DPE guard. No word back so far. I'll update this post with any statements I received if and when I get something.

Update No. 2: This just in from a Microsoft spokesperson:

"Walid Abu-Hadba has decided to pursue the next chapter in his career and will be leaving Microsoft in a few months. Microsoft veteran Steve Guggenheimer is joining the Developer Group as the new Corporate Vice President effective immediately. He brings a breadth of experience from his 18+ years at Microsoft, most recently in the OEM Division working with hardware partners.  he developer opportunity on Windows has never been greater and we remain focused on driving excitement and engagement with our community of developer partners."



Topics: Microsoft, Software Development


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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  • A Needed Change...

    I really feel this is a needed change. Although I don't know much about Guggenheimer, I strongly believe that Microsoft needs a new leader to bridge the divide on these new Windows Runtime platforms. The apps count on Windows 8 is growing rapidly, but they still need more of the big name developer support.
  • Where Are These 3600 Apps?

    Are they only visible to RTM users? Those of us using RP and un-patiently waiting for October 26, it still looks like a desert in the Windows Store.
    • 3,600 apps

      Hi, yes this is a count of worldwide Metro-Style apps available and visible only to those running RTM bits. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Will The New Guy Start Working On The Windows Phone 8 SDK Soon?

    Wondering whether WP8 will be ready any time next year or not...