The Sinofsky Shuffle
When Scott Guthrie, former corporate vice president of the .NET Platform at Microsoft, left the Developer Division to head up a new Windows Azure business unit, I was more than concerned. Guthrie, after all, is widely credited with energizing the Microsoft development portfolio and helping spearhead the company's commitment to openness and interoperability. His ability to connect with rank-and-file developers has been a huge asset for Microsoft.
But Redmond has been down this road before. Steven Sinofsky built a well-earned reputation as a disciplined manager leading the Office group, producing stable, on-time releases of the massive Microsoft productivity suite. So when Windows Vista went off the rails, Microsoft tapped the low-key Sinofsky to take control. The result, Windows 7, has (nearly) made us forget all about Windows Vista. Call it the Sinofsky Shuffle.
Guthrie is another case of a man whose talents fit the challenge. Where Sinofsky brought discipline, Guthrie brings creative energy to a Windows Azure platform that's yet to generate real excitement. As head of the Azure Application Platform group, Guthrie can do what he does best -- connect with developers and create a development ecosystem.
And it turns out that .NET developers -- particularly Web developers -- will still have Guthrie to kick around. Guthrie wrote on his blog that he'll "continue to run a lot of the core .NET teams," listing ASP.NET, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, AppFabric, IIS, Visual Studio Web Tools and WebMatrix.
Guthrie is no longer in the Developer Division, but his leadership should continue to shape key areas of the development stack.
Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.