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'We're not moving SMS to storage,' MS exec says

Customers of Microsoft's management software products need not panic because of a recent shuffle in Redmond, a company official says.

LAS VEGAS -- Customers should not read too much into Microsoft's decision to move overall responsibility of its management products from the Windows group to the storage group, a company official said this week at the Microsoft Management Summit.

Some users were confused and chagrined when they learned that Microsoft had shuffled its reporting structure. In an interview Tuesday with, David Hamilton, director of the company's enterprise management division, was adamant when he said the division has the full backing of senior Microsoft executives.

Recently, Microsoft change the name of its management business group to "enterprise management division" in an effort to demonstrate the company's focus on its enterprise management platforms. In a reporting-structure realignment, Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president and head of the enterprise management unit, now reports to Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the enterprise storage division. Tatarinov previously reported to Brian Valentine, senior vice president of the Windows division.

Some users had feared this change meant that Microsoft had moved products such as Systems Management Server and Microsoft Operations Manager to the storage division, where they believed the applications might receive less attention.

Hamilton said that's not the case. "We're not moving SMS to storage," he said in an interview. "It was a pure management decision."

Muglia is a 15-year Microsoft veteran who has managed the development of MSN, Office and Windows server applications, as well as the Pocket PC, eBook and Tablet. Muglia can "quite easily manage two divisions," Hamilton said.

He said Microsoft's commitment to the management platforms is evidenced by the strong showing of Microsoft executives and managers at the summit: Valentine kicked off the summit with a keynote Tuesday morning before approximately 1,900 attendees. He was followed by BJ Whalen, program manager for U.S. software distribution, Ryan Calafato, program manager for U.S. platforms business management, and Tatarinov.

Tatarinov, who joined Microsoft eight months ago, had much to do with Microsoft's ambitious, long-term plans for its management platforms, Hamilton said. Tatarinov has "buy-in" from top Microsoft executives to reform the company's application and server management platforms, a job that includes the eventual integration of SMS and MOM.

Microsoft renamed the management business group on March 10. Some users were distressed and confused by the announcement about the new "enterprise management division." An online poll underscored the confusion, asking "Do you agree with Microsoft moving SMS under the storage management unit?"

In fact, SMS, MOM, Application Center and Microsoft Solutions for Management will remain in the enterprise management division, Microsoft said.


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