Microsoft Losing Two Top Talents

Jeff Raikes, one of the Microsoft execs with the most years under his belt (and one of the nicest business leaders you'll ever meet), is retiring this fall.

Originally from Apple, Raikes has done nearly everything in his 27-some years at Microsoft. Most recently, Raikes drove the Office System business, especially the collaboration tools that run on top of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Whenever a big-time executives leaves, rumors fly about whether they were forced out. I don't sit in on Microsoft's board meetings, but I'd venture to guess that the decision was all Raikes'. First, he's not leaving for nine months. Second, Raikes recently took the lead in launching Microsoft's Unified Communications line, which is off to a good start. And third, Raikes, part owner of the Seattle Mariners, is pretty much free to do whatever he wants!

Meanwhile, the man who drove Microsoft's acquisitions for the last two years is retiring next month. Bruce Jaffe, who helped Microsoft spend billions buying everything from Desktop Standard to aQuantive, started with Microsoft 12 years ago in the corporate strategy group.

Development Platforms Forever Changed
In the early days of programming, you had a language and typed in instructions. One of the biggest transformations came in the form of integrated development environments (IDEs). In both cases, the software is still written largely by scratch (with a few libraries tucked in) and assume the platform is either a PC OS or a Web browser.

The newest approach is far different. The newest approach assumes that there's a back-end platform, not just in the form of an operating system, browser or software like e-commerce, but actual stuff -- servers, storage and even customers!

This is the pitch Google, eBay and Amazon are making to corporate developers. They want corporate developers to build apps that tap into the Google/Amazon/eBay cloud, services and infrastructure. Sounds like a pretty cool head start.

The World's Most Dangerous IM Client
Talk about a dubious distinction. Microsoft last year gained top honors as the most-hacked instant messaging client of 2007. According to some quick and dirty Internet research (read: this information could be wildly inaccurate!), AOL has by far the most IM market share, with Microsoft coming in second with roughly half the number of users.

If MSN is the most hacked, there are only two reasonable theories. First, it's easier to hack MSN than other clients, or second, it's just more fun to hack a Microsoft product. I'd go with the latter!

Mailbag: Hung Up on Cell Phone Ads
Count Jay as one more cell phone user who doesn't like the thought of mobile advertising:

Advertising on my mobile phone? No, of course not, I can't even use it in the car anymore here in WA state. Unless they are going to give me free text messages, free pics or free services, I'll not absorb any more advertising than what I am already subjected to throughout the day. There is definitely no time during a phone call to view, read or listen to an ad.
-Jay

Share your thoughts with us! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

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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