Microsoft Taps New Open-Source, Linux Strategist

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-07-01 Print this article Print

Microsoft is getting a new open-source and Linux strategist as the end-of-financial-year staff shuffle continues.

Microsoft Corp. is getting a new open-source and Linux strategist as the end-of-financial-year staff shuffle continues. Peter Houston, who as the senior director of Microsofts Windows Server Strategies has had to defend and explain the companys response to the competitive threat posed by Linux and open source for the past 18 months, is now moving to Microsofts Enterprise Management Division where he will work on the upcoming Systems Center product. Houston will be replaced by long-time Microsoft employee Martin Taylor, who will continue to drive Microsofts server strategy and orchestrate broader strategies across the other business groups.
Houston told eWEEK that he will be following his "passion for product development and will be an architect for Systems Center, a completely new product designed to unify the various management products, including Systems Management Server and Microsoft Operations Manager, that we have shipped over the years.
"This gives me the chance to use my skills as both a software engineer and a product strategist to deliver the best possible product for our customers. It is a bittersweet move, as I have enjoyed the past six and a half years in the Windows Server organization, and particularly, the excitement of the last year and a half where I have focused on product strategy and competing with technologies such as Linux," he said. His replacement, Taylor, has been at Microsoft for over 10 years in a variety of roles in the field in both New York and Washington D.C., as well as a general manager in one of the companys Latin American subsidiaries. For the past 18 months Taylor worked as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmers chief of staff, building cross-organizational initiatives and working on long-term strategy plans for the company. He has worked on piloting quality efforts including driving the Customer and Partner Experience around the company and working with Ballmer on the companys cultural transformation efforts. The latest shuffle follows last weeks reorganization of Microsofts platforms group, where the Developer and Platform Evangelism Business, the Windows Server System Business, and the Enterprise Storage and Management Business were combined under the existing Servers and Tools Profit & Loss center (P&L), which will be headed by senior vice president Eric Rudder. Paul Flessner, who was senior vice president of the server platform division and who led the Server and Tools P&L, returned to "his roots of engineering management and will lead the Exchange, SQL and eBusiness Divisions, while reporting to Rudder," a Microsoft spokesman told eWEEK last week.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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