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Thursday, March 23, 2006 - Page updated at 11:31 AM

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Microsoft announces management changes in Windows group

Seattle Times technology reporter

In the wake of embarrassing delays with its flagship Windows Vista software, Microsoft today announced a "broad restructuring" in its massive Platforms and Services Group.

The biggest change is that former Office Senior Vice President Steven Sinofsky is now in charge of planning future versions of Windows beyond Vista. Sinofsky is leading the new Windows and Windows Live Group, one of eight new operating units. One goal of the reorganization was to divide the group's business and software development efforts.

"As we launch new Windows Live services and finalize Windows Vista, we're looking ahead to how we deliver the best possible experience for customers, now and into the future,'' Kevin Johnson, co-president of the Platforms and Services Group, said in a release. "Today we are enhancing the leadership team and structure across the division to ensure we have the right organization to support our technology vision."

Although the changes come two days after Microsoft decided to delay the broad release of Vista until 2007, they are largely a follow-up to a September reorganization that folded MSN into Windows. They also align the group around the company's new emphasis on delivering services via the Internet.

The seven other divisions are led by people who held similar positions before the reorganization. They include:

• Windows Live Platform Group, to be headed by Vice President Blake Irving, formerly head of the MSN platform.

• Online Business Group, led for now by Senior Vice President David Cole, who is taking a leave of absence next month.

• Market Expansion Group led by Will Poole, formerly senior vice president of Windows Client PC business.

• Core Operating System Division led by Senior Vice President Brian Valentine.

• Windows Client Marketing Group led by Vice President Mike Sievert.

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• Developer and Platform Evangelism Group led by Vice President Sanjay Parthasarathy.

• Server and Tools Business Group, led by Bob Muglia, senior vice president.

Co-President Jim Allchin will continue to work with Valentine on Vista until Allchin retires at the end of the year.

Meanwhile Sinofsky "assumes responsibility for process and planning of future versions of Windows," the release said.

Former MSN Senior Vice President Yusuf Mehdi is moving into a new role as "chief advertising strategist" reporting to Johnson.

Vice President Chris Jones will continue working on Windows core operating system development but will report to Sinofsky instead of Poole, a spokesman said.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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