June 20, 2006 3:22 PM PDT

Key Ballmer adviser leaves Microsoft

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Microsoft's eye on open source

July 20, 2005
Martin Taylor, a key adviser to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, has left the software maker.

Taylor, a 13-year company veteran who led Microsoft's "Get the Facts" anti-Linux crusade for several years, was named in March as a corporate vice president overseeing the marketing push for Windows Live services.

Martin Taylor Martin Taylor

Before he led the "Get the Facts" campaign, Taylor served as director of business strategy, working directly for Ballmer on various strategic projects and on long-term planning for the company. Prior to that, he spent more than two years as general manager of Microsoft's Caribbean unit.

"We've made the difficult decision to part ways with Martin, but we don't comment on personnel matters," Microsoft said in a statement. "We appreciate Martin's contributions at Microsoft over the past 13 years."

Microsoft didn't say whether Taylor's duties had been assigned to another executive at the company.

Taylor, reached at his home, declined comment on his departure. His departure was reported earlier Tuesday by Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal.

Highlighting the abruptness of the departure, both reports noted that Taylor had been quoted Monday in a press release announcing Windows Live Messenger, the new version of Microsoft's instant messaging software.

Microsoft has in the past week announced a series of major personnel changes. Last Thursday, the company said that Chairman Bill Gates would relinquish his role of chief software architect and curtail his full-time presence at the software maker.

The company appointed Ray Ozzie, who came to Microsoft in 2005, to take over as chief software architect. Craig Mundie, a veteran Microsoft executive, was tapped to assume Gates' responsibilities for the company's research and incubation efforts.

Ozzie has emerged as a key figure at the software giant, having authored a strategy memo that's served as a call-to-arms to spark Microsoft's services push. That strategy includes the Windows Live services positioning that Taylor was charged with managing.

According to Taylor's bio, posted to Microsoft's Web site, his duties included "business leadership as well as product and marketing management for Windows Live services, MSN.com and the Microsoft Live platform. He was responsible for developing the overall Live brand and bringing new Microsoft Live services and innovations to customers."

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17 comments

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Rats R Jumping Ship
Looks like the Microsoft ship is going down!
Posted by ratzo (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yeah
Will still sell 100x more Vista units within 10min of release than Apple managed to sell the past year.
Posted by City_Of_LA (118 comments )
Link Flag
I remember that!
Do you? Microsoft's anti-UNIX "Get the Facts" campaign was hosted
on a UNIX servers, and when that became public knowledge, and
when Microsoft switched to their own software, it was hacked and
brought down for several day!!!
Thanks, C|Net, for the memories!!!
Posted by GGGlen (491 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I remember this too.
And I'm glad that guy is jobless now. In fact, I hope he never works again -- another IT industry bandwagon-jumping fool who does absolutely *no REAL work*.
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
Yes that was funny.
The Get The Facts Campaign website ran great on Linux and crashed when transferred to Windows.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Link Flag
I thought UNIX wasn't Linux
Remember that stupid mantra for Linux? GNU's not UNIX?!! LOL. So why does it matter? Duh.
Posted by WJeansonne (480 comments )
Link Flag
oh the memories
I think it had something to do with partnering with Akamai whom uses Unix servers to host that website. And then when they decided to host it themselves, they didn't have the tools.
Posted by nrlz (98 comments )
Link Flag
Ah yes....
That move has to be my fondest memory of Microsoft. Perhaps one of the dumbest moves in technology history, right up their with Bill Gates crashing Windows while showing it off.

Let's not forget, though, that Microsoft once had their own UNIX varient as well: Xenix.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
They leave because...
These guys are smart and can see that Windows isn't the centre of the computing universe, the Web is.
Microsoft's strategy is really about making Windows relevant. But the rise and rise of the Web is in conflict with this strategy.

Bottom line is Windows will become less and the Web will increase.

These are the facts. Their anti-Linux campaign is stupid because the Web practically runs on Linux.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Get A Mac now
Get a Mac now! The ship is sinking.
Posted by originalbitman (16 comments )
Reply Link Flag
but......
I have been using Ubuntu linux through hoary, breezy and now dapper as my main desktop OS. I don't use windows. I don't have a Mac either nor do I want one. PC != Windows
Posted by osaeris (3 comments )
Link Flag
I don't use windows or own a Mac
I have been using Ubuntu linux through hoary, breezy and now dapper as my main desktop OS. I don't use windows. I don't have a Mac either nor do I want one. PC != Windows
Posted by osaeris (3 comments )
Link Flag
sorry about the double posting!
got a 404 so posted it again
Posted by osaeris (3 comments )
Link Flag
Healthy Cleansing of the Stable
Ozzie will have to hose the place down to take effective control. That will mean axing lifers like Taylor and the usual cruft of brain-damaged corporate drones that will do nothing but get in the way of remediating decades of laziness and neglect. The real question is whether or not Uberegnineer Ozzie will get Ballmer - or his successor's - support in negotiating the internal politics of Microsoft, a savage cult ruled by spoiled, raging child-men. I doubt it. In the end of this chapter, Ozzie's first real test as a MSFT exec will be organizing the removal of Ballmer, an embarassing, effeminate, tire-biting psycho who will go to his grave without an original idea. Gates was not strong enough to remove his old college roommate and caved into his demands for power, much to his regret today, no doubt. It is very likely that Gates is counting on Ozzie's intellectual and industrial authority to catalyze the MSFT/Gen2 core of execs who will push out Psycho Steve and the MSFT/Gen1 goons that are cursing the waves cresting over their empty little heads.
Posted by Sumatra-Bosch (526 comments )
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