Microsoft's Allchin to retire in 2006

Microsoft once again shuffles its top brass. Jim Allchin, a key technologist at Microsoft who helped unseat Novell's NetWare as the dominant network OS and made Windows NT the network operating system of choice, will retire next year.

The man most responsible for making Microsoft the dominant player in the enterprise server market will call it quits at the end of next year.

Jim Allchin, who was formerly a group vice president of Microsoft's Platforms group, will retire in late 2006. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced Allchin's impending retirement as part of an overall corporate reorganization, which included the creation of three new divisions, each to be led by its own president.

One division, the Microsoft Platform Products and Services Division, will be led by Kevin Johnson, who was recently group vice president of worldwide sales, and Allchin. Until Allchin's retirement, they will serve as co-presidents.

Johnson, who was once in field sales, will succeed Allchin after his retirement. The Windows Platform Products and Services division includes Windows clients, servers and tools and MSN.

He's really the guy who took NT from its birth, as well as the enterprise server group, and helped Microsoft migrate from a desktop OS company to an enterprise company.


Peter Pawlak, Directions on Microsoft

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Allchin was a founder at Banyan Systems Inc., an early provider of network operating system software, and a principal architect of the Vines operating system. He understood networking and the needs of the enterprise at that time and was, therefore, hugely important in terms of Microsoft's evolution as an enterprise player.

"He's really the guy who took NT from its birth, as well as the enterprise server group, and helped Microsoft migrate from a desktop OS company to an enterprise company," said Peter Pawlak of Allchin. Pawlak is an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash., consulting firm.

Eric Rudder, who is senior vice president of server and tools, will work directly for Bill Gates, chief software architect. Rudder will take on some of Microsoft's advanced technology efforts as well as the company's overall technical strategy, Microsoft said. Rudder will move into this new position following the launch of SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio in November.

Jeff Raikes, currently vice president of the information worker business, will be president of Microsoft's business division. Robbie Bach, senior vice president for home and entertainment, will take over as president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division.

Ray Ozzie, who is one of Microsoft's three chief technical officers, will expand his role by taking on the responsibility of Microsoft's software-based services strategy.

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