The Real Windows Housecleaning Begins

Even before Windows Vista is out of the gate, the next Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky, is beginning to make his presence felt by bringing in a new head of engineering to replace longtime Windows dev chief Brian Valentine.

The next Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky, is beginning to make his presence felt in Microsofts Windows organization, even before Windows Vista is out the door.

On Aug. 1, Microsoft announced internally to its employees some of the changes that it is making to the Windows organization. Among the most sweeping of these is the reassignment of Brian Valentine, senior vice president of Microsofts Core Operating System Division.

"After Windows Vista RTM, Brian Valentine will transition into a new role and contribute in another (unspecified) area for the company," said a Microsoft spokeswoman via an e-mail statement.

Windows Vista is currently set to go to manufacturing this fall. Microsoft officials are planning to release Vista code to volume licensees in November and to launch the product in January 2007.

/zimages/1/28571.gifeWEEK Labs takes a look at the latest Vista build. Click here to read the review.

"The coming move of Brian Valentine and retirement of Jim Allchin signal the end of an era for Windows," said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with Jupiter Research. "Recently, its an era marred by endless product delays. Brians move is surprising, and yet its not. Apparently, the new leadership will bring in new people. Its not unusual for new leaders to bring in people they are familiar with."

Valentine, a 19-year Microsoft veteran, has been in charge of Windows development since December 1998. Known for stunts from wearing tutus to flipping pancakes to keep up the Windows teams morale, Valentine has been a popular figure among the Microsoft development troops.

Effective immediately, Valentine will be sharing his job with Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of engineering.

"Jon will drive Windows operating system development, cross platform integration and work closely with Steven Sinofsky on the products and services coming on the heels of Windows Vista," according to Microsofts statement.

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