IBM Hires Former Microsoft .Net Guru

IBM's new director of software services for Web services helped shape Microsoft's software-as-a-service .Net brand.

IBM has hired a former Microsoft executive who was actively involved in helping shape the Redmonds software-as-a-service .Net brand.

IBM said on Wednesday that Dr. Jason Weisser, previously the head of Microsoft Consulting Services for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, has been appointed its Director of Software Services for Web Services.

Weissers specialty at Microsoft focused on services related to the .Net brand, said IBM, adding that Weisser will head a global team of technical experts to help IBM customers and partners develop business solutions built on an integrated, standards-based infrastructure.

While Weisser will be based in Paris, he will work with customers and partners around the world and be a "leading technical resource helping customers achieve IBMs vision of e-business on demand, in which organizations can work faster and more easily across the enterprise and with partners, suppliers and customers," the company said in a statement.

Microsoft could not immediately be reached for comment. But the announcement follows last weeks news that Microsoft was changing the name of its upcoming Windows .Net Server 2003 family, due out on April 24, to Windows Server 2003.

Bob OBrien, a group product manager in the Windows Server Division, told eWEEK last Thursday that Microsoft had decided to drive an overall effort to clarify the naming and branding strategy around .Net.

"Realistically the support for Web services is becoming ubiquitous across our entire product line, so the .Net team felt that moving toward a consistent naming and branding strategy would better enable partners to affiliate with it and would also allow customers to easily identify .Net enabled products," he said.

But customers said the name change underscores the problems Microsoft is having explaining the concept of .Net to customers.

"No one has yet been able to properly explain what .Net actually is and give me an example of what Web Services really are. I just dont understand why I should be jumping for joy about .Net in the enterprise," an MIS for a large metals company in Pittsburgh, told eWEEK.

IBM said Weisser joining the company pre-dated last weeks Microsoft announcement. Weisser said in a prepared statement that he was "delighted to join IBM, which is unmatched in its technological innovation, commitment to delighting customers and devotion to open standards."