Microsoft Hires WebSphere Architect
Microsoft quietly disclosed this week it has hired a key architect away from
Don Ferguson, whom some observers refer to as the "Father of WebSphere,"
has joined Redmond as a Technical Fellow in Platforms and Strategy in the Office
of the CTO, according to statements posted online.
Simply put, that means he reports to Ray Ozzie, another former IBM executive
who last summer took over the job of Chief Software Architect from the gradually
retiring Bill Gates.
According to his executive bio on Microsoft's site, Ferguson's new charter
is to focus on "both the evolutionary and revolutionary role of information
technology in business...[and] understanding the trends, architecting and piloting
the implications for existing and new products and evangelizing Microsoft's
Interestingly, despite having joined the competition, IBM still has a bio for
Ferguson posted online.
Ferguson was one of 53 IBM Fellows, IBM's highest technical position. He was
also the Chief Architect for IBM Software Group (SWG) and chaired the SWG Architecture
Board, which oversees the architecture and integration of WebSphere, DB2, Lotus,
Tivoli and Rational products.
"Don was the original Chief Architect for the WebSphere family of products,"
according to IBM's bio. Ferguson hired into IBM Research in 1985.
Microsoft has not disclosed precisely what Ferguson's focus will be in Redmond,
but highlighted several key areas he had been involved in at Big Blue, including
Web services, patterns, Web 2.0 and business-driven development, as well as
service-oriented architectures and Web services.
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.