Microsoft's plan to increase its focus on developers: The full internal memo

The move of Microsoft Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie from the .Net developer platform to heading up the newly created Azure Application Platform team is just one part of the Server and Tools Business reorg announced on May 2 inside Microsoft. There are changes happening on the tools side of the house, as well.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

The move of Microsoft Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie from the .Net developer platform to heading up the newly created Azure Application Platform team is just one part of the Server and Tools Business reorg announced on May 2 inside Microsoft.

There are changes happening on the tools side of the house, as well. Microsoft is consolidating its developer tools and developer evangelism groups under Developer Division Senior Vice President Soma Somasegar. It seems kind of odd to me that these teams weren't already lumped together, but they weren't.

Here's Somasegar's full memo to the troops about today's moves.

From: S. Somasegar Subject: Increasing our focus on developers

Last month at MIX 11, we showcased the Microsoft platform opportunity to developers.  This included showing incredible HTML5 experiences with IE9 on Windows 7, the runtime and tooling improvements we are making with the next release of Windows Phone, shipping the great new Silverlight 5 Beta, the excellent work we are delivering with WebMatrix, ASP.NET MVC, Orchard and Windows Azure, and some amazing new Kinect development experiences that we will be enabling shortly.  There is only more to come.  I'm very eagerly waiting for the developer conference this September, where we will have a lot of exciting new things to show and tell our developer customers.

As Satya (Nadella) mentions, we are making a number of organizational changes in DevDiv that are intended to set us up for even more success in attracting developers to Microsoft platforms and in gaining leadership position in cloud computing.

•    Consolidating developer tools marketing and evangelism functions into the DevDiv organization. This change will enable us to work together more tightly to build the right products, as well as to market, evangelize and sell them the right way. This enables us to continue to be the champions for the developer audience at Microsoft and work closely with the platform teams to deliver a compelling developer story. As part of this change, the Developer Tools Marketing and the Developer Platform & Evangelism organizations will be merging with DevDiv as follows:

o    The Developer Platform & Evangelism team led by Walid Abu-Hadba will report directly to me. I have known Walid for many years now and have worked closely with him ever since he came into DPE and I am excited to have Walid and the DPE team join us. The Student Evangelism team, led by Jon Perera will be joining DPE from Microsoft Office Division and will continue their focus and charter of winning the hearts and minds of students and the academic community. o    The Developer Tools Marketing team, including the Product Management team led by Dave Mendlen, the Outbound Developer team led by Angus Norton, the Developer Business team led by Kara Westhusing, the Developer Tracker Survey run by Maureen Hughes, and the Silverlight Marketing team, will report to Mitra Azizirad. Mitra has been with the company for 19 years in a variety of business and strategic leadership roles and has been a leader in helping us be a $1B+ tools business. Mitra brings a vast amount of field, sales and marketing as well as corporate experience to the team.  Mitra will join my leadership team and continue to report to Walid.

•    Sharpening our Focus around Azure and Cloud Computing. Azure and the cloud are incredibly important initiatives that will play a huge role in the future success of STB and the company.  Given the strategic importance of Cloud Computing for STB and Microsoft, we need a strong leader to help drive the development of our Cloud Application Platform and help us win developers for Azure. We’ve asked Scott Guthrie to take on this challenge and lead the Azure Application Platform team that will report to Ted Kummert in BPD. This team will combine the Web Platform & Tools team led by Bill Staples, the Application Server Group led by Abhay Parasnis and the Portal and Lightweight Role teams from the Windows Azure team.  Scott’s transition is bittersweet for me. I personally will miss him very much, but I’m confident that Scott will bring tremendous value to our application platform.  With Scott’s current organization finishing up important milestones, the timing is right for Scott to take on this role.

With Scott’s transition, the Client Platform team led by Kevin Gallo will report directly to me and will continue its focus on the awesome work that the team is doing for the different Microsoft platforms.  The .NET Core Platform team led by Ian Carmichael will report to Jason Zander which will bring the managed languages and runtime work closer together.  Patrick Dussud will report to Ian Carmichael and will continue being the technical leader for .NET.

•    Taking the next step in the evolution of our Technical Computing engineering team. The team has made significant progress in the two years since its foundation in its goals to make Windows platform the best and most widely used environment for compute and data intensive parallel applications. Kyril’s strong leadership in jumpstarting our High Performance and Technical Computing work has enabled us to take the next step in its evolution with the goal of making its technologies mainstream by aligning them with the appropriate tools and platform teams.  These changes will be effective in June, when the team finishes its current set of development milestones:

o    Parallel Computing and Tools led by Steve Teixeira, David Callahan and Shahrokh Mortazavi will move to a combined WinC++, PCP, and UX organization under Mohsen. o    High Performance Computing led by Ryan Waite will move to the Windows Azure organization and report to Bill Laing. o    Workbench Compute Services led by Mark Schnitzer will move to the Business Platform Division and report to Dave Campbell. o    TC China team lead by George Yan will sharpen its focus on HPC and will report to Ryan Waite. o    Kyril Faenov will report to Satya with a charter to drive start-ups and other rapidly growing workloads to the cloud as well as looking at key innovations to help Microsoft continue its advance in the cloud.

The changes we are announcing today will help us focus and execute on our developer strategy more effectively to attract developers to Microsoft platforms and drive platform pull-through. With engineering, marketing and evangelism working together even more closely, we will also be able to execute better on our plans to drive usage of our developer tools more broadly and grow to a $2B+ business.

Please join me in welcoming Walid and the DPE team and the developer tools marketing team as well as congratulating Scott, Kyril and Mitra on their new roles and responsibilities. I want to thank Scott for his incredible contributions to DevDiv over the last 12 years and wish him all the very best in his new role and know that DevDiv will be cheering him to help us win on the cloud. I want to thank Kyril for his leadership in creating and nurturing Technical Computing and helping us set it up to be more mainstream moving forward.

Attached is the new organization chart that reflects my direct reports and highlights any changes with their direct reports. You will hear from your leader on the specifics if there are any changes in your organization.

We have a lot of exciting and important deliverables in the next 6-12 months that the teams are working towards. Please stay focused on your commitments and deliverables as the work you are doing is critical for the success of our platforms.  Let your manager or me know if you have any questions.


Deliverables in the next 6 to 12 months? We know about Silverlight 5 and Visual Studio LightSwitch. I'm also thinking Visual Studio 2012... What else of interest to you is/might be coming for developers, developers, developers?

Editorial standards