In a recent interview with eWEEK prior to the announcement of Muglias succession, LaPlante said: "My take is twofold, Eric and I started on the same day 17 and a half years ago, so I know him fairly well. He is a passionate guy. He understands our business better than just about anybody. "Eric was the push for transparency, Eric was the push for shorter development cycles, Eric fundamentally believes that Microsoft is driven by this business. And so having him work for Bill, driving that I think is very good for the customer and very good for business overall.""I think he kicked off the right set of things and the organization is starting to live it now. So the net is net positive. Its hard to have someone who was such a strong leader not run the business anymore, but I think well find a strong leader for the business." Muglia is that person, according to Allchin and Johnson. His bio on the Microsoft site says Muglia is a member of the Technical Senior Leadership Team, which is responsible for developing Microsofts technical direction. He is also a member of the Business Leadership Team, which is responsible for broad strategic and business planning across the company, the bio said. Also, Muglia is no stranger to the tools business. His bio says he helped to bring together the Visual Studio family of developer tools and drive the Win32 API, customer requirements and product specification for the Windows NT operating system. And "Since joining Microsoft in January 1988, Muglia has served in a variety of positions, including managing the development of the MSN network of Internet services and Microsoft Office family of business productivity applications, Windows Server applications, and productivity appliances such as Pocket PCs, eBooks and Tablet PCs," the Muglia bio said. Although Muglias role with server and tools become effective following the Nov. 7 launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk 2006, "Bob will temporarily continue in his role as leader of the Windows Server business, until a new structure is announced within the next couple of months," the memo said. "In addition to his current direct reports, Bob will also have the following businesses and their leaders reporting to him: Windows Server System, Paul Flessner; Developer Tools, S. "Soma" Somasegar; Marketing, Andy Lees; Finance, Peter Klein; and Business Manager, Amy Hood," the memo said. Meanwhile, in a separate memo sent by Sanjay Parthasarathy to the Developer and Platform Evangelism (DP&E) team and viewed by eWEEK, Parthasarathy said: "I am excited to announce that the Developer & Platform Evangelism HQ organization will move to report to Kevin Johnson... This organizational change formalizes D&PEs charter across the entire Microsoft platform, including client, server and services." Added Parthasarathy: "The next five years are going to be very interesting as we have the opportunity to connect up Vista, Office, Windows Mobile devices, Web sites and other end user assets to the .Net and server infrastructure that is in place in enterprises and on the Internet. "Our work on evangelizing the developer and IT pro infrastructure will continue, and we have the opportunity to add a greater focus on user experience. We have an opportunity to deliver the most exciting, complete and compelling vision to the broad developer community, ISVs, enterprises and academia." Some developers were indifferent about the move. "I am 100 percent indifferent," said Stephen Forte, chief technology officer at Corzen Inc., NY. "If they put Allchin in charge, that would be a different story. We like him." Mike Sax, president of Sax Software Inc., Eugene, Ore., said he has "no strong feelings either way... I think hes been in this area before in some shape or form, so Im sure hell do a good job." Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Moreover, said LaPlante, "I think that people embraced it. People feel so much better about the transparency we have, and people feel so much better about the way were planning the next products and the focus that were having.