Meet Microsofts Joe Friday

Martin Taylor, Redmond's new point man on Linux, says he plans to change Microsoft's open-source competitive strategy by focusing on 'just the facts.'

Attendees of LinuxWorld next week will see a new executive face in the Microsoft Corp. booth.

Martin Taylor — who is two weeks into his job as Microsoft platform strategist — is Microsofts new point man on Linux. And he says he has a new plan for how to help Microsoft compete better with open-source.


Read "Microsoft Taps New Open-Source, Linux Strategist"

Taylor, a 10-plus-year Microsoft veteran, has held a variety of posts at Microsoft. He started his career working on programs for resellers and integrators in Microsofts Washington, D.C., office. He also worked in the companys New York office for a couple of years, managing Microsofts organizational customer unit team. For another two years, he served as the general manager of Microsoft Caribbean, which is based in Puerto Rico.

Taylor rose through the ranks, and for the past 18 months was director of business strategy for CEO Steve Ballmer. His latest mission was helping Microsoft develop a way to measure customer satisfaction with Microsoft partners.


In his platform-strategist role, Taylor succeeds Peter Houston, senior director of Microsofts Windows Server Strategies, as chief Linux watcher.

"Pete was more focused on server, but Im more cross-group focused, and focused on the whole Microsoft software stack," Taylor said in an interview with Microsoft Watch this week. "And Im also interested in some of the non-technical reasons that make customers move away from Microsoft."

Taylor jokes that his colleagues have nicknamed him "Joe Friday," after the fictional sergeant on "Dragnet" who focused on "just the facts, maam."

"Because some of this (Linux vs. Windows) discussion has become borderline religious, we want to tell our customers just the facts" from here on out, he says.

So, rather than continuing to stir the Linux vs. Windows pot with barbs and inflammatory rhetoric, Taylor says he is planning to turn his teams attentions on demonstrating the value perspective of Windows vis-à-vis open-source software.


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