Muglia Promotion Secures Windows Azure Future

We all think of the Windows desktop OS and Office apps when we think of the power houses at Microsoft, but there's a new sheriff in town ready to paint the place Windows Azure blue. Bob Muglia received the Microsoft exec equivalent of an at-a-boy, being promoted to president of the servers and tools division. The market success of Windows Server 2008 and the kickoff of Windows Azure at Microsoft PDC 2008 certainly played key roles in securing Bob's ranking amongst the top Microsoft execs.

2009 won't be a year for Bob to let out any slack (not that he would) following up with Windows Azure and online services, and preparing for the successful release of Visual Studio 2010. (See my 2009 Microsoft to-do-list and John Fontana's article about the same.) But much the way Ray Ozzie's job is to transform Microsoft's products from traditional software to cloud based apps and technologies, Muglia is the guy who has to deliver the goods to market and see that customers buy what Microsoft's cooking. That represents a huge shift in the sales force and how the channel works (and views) Microsoft. During 2009 we're going to be overrun by talk about the Windows 7 OS but servers, tools and online services won't take a back seat to Vista's bullpen replacement. It can't. Bob's got to essentially prove Microsoft can turn the corner to compete against Google, Amazon and other online platforms. Everyone's been impressed by the beginnings of the Ozzie era and now need to see the goods delivered through Bob and other execs.

Reminds me of the old saying, "the good news is you got the job, the bad news is you got the job". The good news for Bob and Microsoft is 2008 saw a very successful announcement by Microsoft of how they are tackling infrastructure, services and software for the cloud. The bad news is that was just the announcement... they've still got to deliver and prove it in market in 2009 and beyond. 2008's successes certainly have provided Bob a positive launch into 2009 and secured momentum around Windows Azure and other online service initiatives. Next, we need to see the same thing happen with former Yahoo exec Qi Lu, president of the online services group. 

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