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Laing to Head Windows Server Division

Microsoft has promoted Scotsman Bill Laing to lead its Windows Server division after having moved the last executive to hold the post, Bob Muglia, up to be senior vice president of the Server and Tools business.

Laing, a seven-year Microsoft veteran, will be in charge of making sure that the upcoming “Longhorn” version of Windows Server makes it all the way from inception to release on schedule. His new title is general manager.

Laing reports to Muglia. Under the reorganization begun last year, Muglia's Server and Tools business falls under the Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division. That division is one of three that the company created when it began the reorg last summer. The division is run by co-presidents Jim Allchin and Kevin Johnson. Allchin is slated to retire at the end of the calendar year after the release of Windows Vista.

The September 2005 reorg collapsed the company’s then-seven divisions into three. Besides Platform Products and Services, long-term Microsoft executive Jeff Raikes became president of the newly-created Microsoft Business Division, while Robbie Bach, also a long-term company exec, was named president of the Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division.

In his new role, Laing oversees delivery of all Windows Server products and all the various editions – Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter, according to a company statement.

Besides Longhorn, that includes Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003. The clustering server is currently in its second beta test cycle and is slated for release during the first half of the year, the company said in November.

Laing also heads the core development team, which makes him key to Microsoft’s whole enterprise strategy. “Building a complete operating system requires integration of software from many different divisions within Microsoft – from other parts of the Server and Tools Business, the core OS team, the networking team, the client teams, and even the Microsoft Business Division – but we drive the integration of the overall project,” Laing said in a statement.

He’s also responsible for what’s called the Common Engineering Criteria for the Windows Server System. This is a set of guidelines that each product in the Windows Server System must meet. “It’s a way for us to show we’re keeping the promise we’ve made to our customers that our server products – such as SQL Server, Exchange Server and Windows Server – will be consistent and will work better together,” Laing’s statement said.

Laing was hired in 1999 as an architect on Windows Server. Recently he has been director of the Architect and Datacenter group within the Windows division.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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