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Reading the Redmondian 'Live' tea leaves

Why has Microsoft moved the Exchange unit under the Office Live guy? My bet: This move just might have something to do with whatever Office-related announcement Microsoft is readying for the Professional Developers Conference next week....

Rajesh Jha, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President in charge of Office Live, is now also heading up Microsoft Exchange. (Thanks to Microsoft blogger Eileen Brown for the information.)

As Brown notes, this might just be an org-chart change good for fueling gossip and little else. Or it could be a hint of something new in the works in terms of Microsoft's Office Live strategy.

A quick refresher: Office Live is a group of consumer- and small-business-focused services that are designed as adjuncts to Office. None of the Office Live properties is a  Webified versions of Microsoft Office or its piece parts. Products that currently fit under the "Office Live" label include Office Live Workspace (which is expected to move from beta to final before the end of calendar 2008), Office Live Small Business, Office Live Groove and Office Live Meeting.

The enterprise-level products that Microsoft is hosting are branded as "Online." SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, Business Productivity Online and Office Communications Online are members of that family. The head of these  so-called Business Online services is Corporate Vice President Bob Kelly.

So why would Exchange be moved to under the Office Live guy? I've asked Microsoft for comment but no word back. Anyone have any theories or thoughts? My bet: This move just might have something to do with whatever Office-related announcement Microsoft is readying for the Professional Developers Conference next week....

Meanwhile, on a somewhat related note, the LiveSide guys note that Microsoft may be rebranding "Live Search" as "Windows Live Search." Hmmm. I think I liked "Bing" better....