More Microsoft cloud changes coming around identity and commerce

The Microsoft Server and Tools Business reorg announced on May 2 has a lot of moving parts. But the overarching goal is plainly to tighten up Microsoft's cloud positioning and strategy. Here are a couple more in the commerce and identity arenas.

The Microsoft Server and Tools Business reorg announced on May 2 has a lot of moving parts. But the overarching goal is plainly to tighten up Microsoft's cloud positioning and strategy.

Satya Nadella, the newly appointed President of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, already is setting up his team and making his game plan known. At the highest level, Microsoft's cloud strategy continues to focus around customer choice among public cloud, private cloud, virtualization, platform and tools for new cloud applications -- or any mix of these offerings.

Just a couple of months into the job, Nadella is tweaking his organization at a more granular level. I've already blogged about the new Azure Application Platform that will be headed, on the engineering side, by Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie. (Guthrie is overseeing a team that brings together Azure developer, Web and the App Fabric teams.) And then there's the newly expanded Developer Division, headed by Senior Vice President Soma Somasegar.

But there are some other changes Nadella is instigating, as announced internally today. These include

* Moving the Commerce Transaction Platform team from the Online Services Division (OSD) to the Server and Tools division. The existing Business Online Services Group (BSOG) Commerce Team will merge with the Commerce Transaction Platform Team, creating a single Commerce team some time after Office 365 becomes generally available (expected this June). Corporate VP of advertising and commerce Rajat Taneja will be the head of this joint team that will support all commerce services across the company, including those that are part of Office 365, Xbox Live, Ad Center and the Windows Azure platform. Taneja will report directly to Nadella.

* Maintaining the current Identity group, which will continue to work on security/identity products for both server and cloud. Lee Nackman, who joined Microsoft in 2009, has been Corporate Vice President, Directory, Access, and Information Protection, but is not going to stay in this role. Corporate VP Dave Thompson, who is leaving Microsoft this summer, is leading the identity team while Microsoft searches for a new head for the division. Nackman is looking for new opportunities, Nadella told his troops today. (I'm not sure if that means that Nackman is no longer going to be heading up the billing and provisioning parts of the Online Services organization, as was the plan just a couple months ago. I've asked Microsoft for comment.) Update: A Microsoft spokesperson said "I don't believe that he (Nackman) is leaving Microsoft," but provided no further insights.

"Going forward our entire division will share a singular mission to embrace the cloud in everything we do: across our public cloud service, our private cloud offerings, with our platform servers and through our tools," said Nadella in a May 2 e-mail to STB employees.

"The cloud ‘design point’ will influence and shape our architecture and go-to-market efforts across our entire product portfolio. This will enable us to truly deliver the benefits of cloud economics to our customers. The Windows Azure Platform will be our fully integrated public cloud service spanning compute, storage, networking, SQL, identity, commerce, application development platform & tools. In addition our next wave of releases across Windows Server, Systems Center and SQL Server will enable private cloud and mission critical virtualization features among other key customer scenarios," Nadella said.

The next version of Windows Server, codenamed Windows 8 Server, is expected by company observers to ship before the end of 2012. Microsoft is in the midst of a refresh of just about every point product that is part of its System Center family of management tools, and expects to deliver most, if not all, of them before the end of calendar 2011. And a new version of SQL Server, codenamed "Denali," is due out either later this year or some time next.

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