Here’s an important, but non-VON story. The Seattle PI published a story this afternoon that Microsoft is reorganizing into three divisions, each with it’s own president. In addition, Jim Allchin (currently senior VP of the platforms division), is retiring.
The new divisions are:
- Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division: Windows, Server and Tools, and MSN. Headed by Kevin Johnson and Allchin, as divisional co-presidents, until Allchin’s retirement.
- Microsoft Business Division: Information Worker (Office) and Microsoft Business Solutions. Headed by Jeff Raikes as president.
- Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division: Home & Entertainment Division and Mobile & Embedded Devices Division. Headed by Robbie Bach as divisional president.
So why is this particular reorg significant? Two reasons: folding MSN into the platforms group is explicitly placing it where it can be most turned into a Web Services 2.0 company. We’ve seen inklings of this already, as MSN has started to expose APIs. If I am right, expect this to turn into a firehose of APIs as they start to try to compete with Google. Secondly, Allchin, while he is to be lauded for his contributions to the company on the Windows front, has always been the protectionist hawk. He is the one who has most vociferously opposed open standards when others in the company have pushed them. As he departs, the flavor of the Windows organization could change dramatically.