Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Microsoft to give online services equal billing with Windows in reorg

Although I have mixed feelings about Kevin Johnson leaving Microsoft, I am absolutely thrilled that the company will be splitting the Online Services business unit away from the Windows platform division to stand separately and report directly to Steve Ballmer. The press release did not explicitly say that Online Services would be a standalone division with its own president, but I am guessing that is where they are headed. In fact, I always assumed that Online Services would end up as a separate, top-level divsion if the Yahoo acquisition had ever come to fruition.

This is a very positive move, and shows that Online Services has grown significantly in the past few years.

I do wish that Kevin could have continued at the company, but everybody needs to move on at some point.

Knowing a little bit about how the company works, I am guessing that there was probably an extreme level of internal tension over how sloppily the whole Yahoo deal was proceeding. It was Kevin's job to make it work, and... he really didn't pull it off in a way that anyone would say is "outstanding."

This is the time of year when performance reviews, promotions, raises, and bonuses are being finalized, and I cannot imagine that the handling of the Yahoo deal was much of a feather in Kevin's cap. Personally, I wouldn't have objected if Kevin were fired for the combination of the sloppy handling of Vista and Yahoo.

That said, I really am pleased that Online Services will be getting some standalone attention rather than being stuffed away under "Windows." That never really made any sense.

-- Jack Krupansky


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