Microsoft messaging unit chief shifts to new role

Anoop Gupta, who led efforts to unify phone and IM communications for businesses, takes on a tech policy job.
Written by Ina Fried, Contributor
The head of Microsoft's efforts to bring together voice and data messaging is moving to a new post at the company, with divisional president Jeff Raikes stepping in to absorb his duties.

Anoop Gupta, who helped build the 4-year-old unified communications group, joined Craig Mundie's research and strategy unit last week as corporate vice president of technology policy and strategy. All of Gupta's direct reports will be managed by Raikes, who will oversee the unit in addition to his other duties. Raikes is responsible for all of the company's business software including Office and Microsoft Business Solutions products.

The move comes as the software maker is investing heavily to try to expand beyond corporate instant messaging and into unified communications, which covers managing corporate telephony and voice mail alongside traditional computer communications. Raikes laid out Microsoft's strategy in the area at an event in San Francisco in June.

Office Communications Server, formerly known as Live Communications Server, will add a variety of tools for businesses to manage their phone networks. Microsoft launched a private beta testing program of Office Communications Server in December, and the final version is expected in the second half of this year. A new version of the desktop Office Communicator product is expected around the same time.

Microsoft merged its Exchange e-mail server unit with the real-time communications effort a year ago.

The change in Gupta's role was first reported by Mary Jo Foley on her ZDNet blog.

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