It’s Reorg Time Again

Things have been a bit rough up in Redmond, what with Google getting all the great press, Tiger beating Vista out the gate by more than a year, and a stock price that hasn’t moved since George W.’s first term. What’s a company to do? Why reorganize, of course.

Last week Microsoft had an unwieldy seven divisions with seven different chiefs. Now Microsoft is down to three, with the three head honchos reporting directly to Steve Ballmer. Meanwhile, Jim Allchin, the man behind Longhorn, announced plans to retire, less than a month after we here at Redmond magazine put him on the cover. Ray Ozzie, the brains behind Notes and Groove and our July cover boy, has expanded responsibilities to steer Microsoft’s software services push.

Dell Dumps Itanium
Dell has long been an Intel stalwart, even when AMD’s 64-bit chips proved a fast and affordable alternative for PCs (any gamer worth his salt uses AMD to run Doom). But Dell stuck to its Intel guns, which is why I was surprised when Dell ditched Itanium for its 64-bit servers. Dell will still use Intel but is bailing on Intel’s highest-end server engine.

According to our report, Itanium will live on, but failures like Dell’s point to a now vulnerable Intel. Finally, processor competition has arrived.

The Mac, It Lives
Microsoft clearly has a love/hate relationship with the Mac, with a lot more of the latter. But with Office still commanding a premium price, and with file format dictatorship still job one, the company is more or less forced to keep upgrading Office for the Mac, which it did with the recent release of Mac Office 2004, Service Pack 2. Most of the new lines of code seem to go into Entourage, giving the messaging client greater collaboration and integration with Exchange.

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VoIP on the Rise, Redmond Style
Microsoft must not like traditional phone companies very much because every week for the last few months it has announced a new foray into voice over IP (VoIP). Microsoft is aggressively pushing free phone calls from PC to PC (the PC should, in Microsoft’s eyes, be the center of the universe, after all) and now, in a deal with Qwest Communications, is touting VoIP for small business. But this bundled service, which includes e-mail and Internet, will clearly not be free.

I like these moves a lot. Internet telephony is no longer the poor, static-y stepchild, but is now a clear, reliable alternative to overpriced LECs and long-distance operators.

Who Rules the Internet: Eric, Bill or Pam?
There are plenty of Internet stars. Bill Gates has the most popular browser, Eric Schmidt owns search and eBay has caused more waste of consumer dollars than the Home Shopping Network and fake baldness cures put together. But who really rules the Internet? For the last decade Pam Anderson has owned the Internet, with everyone from teenage boys to lecherous old coots downloading picture after picture. Hey, all these implants aren’t going to pay for themselves.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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