Microsoft's Cloud Chief on Windows Azure, Tools and More

eWEEK chronicles recent conversations it had with Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's new executive vice president of Cloud & Enterprise, prior to his promotion.

Microsoft named Scott Guthrie to the position of executive vice president of its Cloud & Enterprise division on Feb. 4.

Guthrie assumed the EVP position that was vacated when Satya Nadella ascended to the role of Microsoft CEO.

Guthrie, who is one of the company's most popular technologists and leaders, assumes the role on what Microsoft has described as an "interim" basis. However, his promotion was welcomed warmly within the company, with a strong following of folks hoping the job is his for good.

Known as "ScottGu," Guthrie is notorious for the red polo shirts he sports at events where he is a big draw in coding demos. Guthrie has spent his time at Microsoft in the company's developer and cloud groups. He worked his way up to the role of corporate vice president of the .Net platform in the company's Developer Division and later became the corporate vice president of Windows Azure, which he left for his new position.

Guthrie brings a strong developer focus and has advocated for Microsoft to adopt more open-source technology into its mix and to partner with companies born on non-Microsoft technology. For instance, he supported the hosting of Linux workloads on Azure. eWEEK recently had the opportunity to speak with Guthrie before the start of the new year and his new role. Here is a look at what Guthrie thinks about where Microsoft is and where it's going.

What's your stance on openness?

In our demos you can see that we try to integrate openness. We show we can build on an iPhone, we show our support for Chrome, and we have the Oracle deal we did in terms of enabling Oracle databases and middleware and Java on the platform. These are all example of how we’re trying to take openness and trying to reach every audience and recognizing that most organizations in large companies have a bit of everything in them. What the marketing team uses is different from the IT team and is different from the data analytics team and so forth. And we’ve been looking for great partners to help us better help our customers and, through partnering with us, to better help theirs.

Can you give some of the back story on how much your team was involved in the development of VS 2013 and VS Online?

One of the things that, having spent a decade of my life in Dev Div, and Jason Zander who is with me on Azure as well and used to run Visual Studio, I have a close relationship with the folks there. And one of the things I've spent time on since I've been in Azure is focusing on how we have a great developer integration story and take advantage the millions of developers who use .NET and Visual Studio today. Over the last year in particular we had some good dialogue across the division and made some shared bets that you can see today and others you'll see in the future.

I think today we have a really differentiated dev test offering, with the ability to use your Active Directory credentials to have enterprise access control, to have visual studio integration inside the IDE, to have the TFS analytics and the Visual Studio Online browser editing support for Azure apps. Having all that come together is really starting to turn heads.

Can you get a little more specific about those shared bets and when they started to gel?

Some of the Visual Studio Online pieces and the notion of TFS as a service, Brian's been incubating for a while. He built TFS on top of Azure from the beginning. And the thing we've also done in the last 12 months was looked at how can we bring TFS as a service even closer to Windows Azure and how do we bring Visual Studio IDE even closer to Azure. And then we've been engaging with Erich Gamma and his team on how we can integrate some of the online code editing and the browser based tooling he's been working on and also integrate that into Azure.

So there have been investments going back years and then more recently we've put some of them together and integrated the Azure story.