Head of MS' 'Greenwich' program leaves for Reuters

Just a few weeks after Microsoft released the beta of its much anticipated "Greenwich" real-time collaboration server software, one of the company's lead program managers, David Gurle, is leaving Microsoft to head up the collaboration program at Reuters Group LLP.

Gurle is set to leave his post as director of program management for Real Time Communication at Microsoft on April 1 to become Reuter's executive vice president and global head of Collaboration Services, Reuters said Thursday in a statement.

"Financial institutions are traditionally ahead of the curve in finding and effectively using technology to push their businesses forward," Gurle said in a statement.

The move comes just a month after Gurle gave a keynote at the Instant Messaging Planet Spring 2003 Conference and Expo in Boston where he endorsed a "clearinghouse approach" to enterprise instant messaging (IM) despite the fact that Greenwich is based on a federated approach. A clearing house approach allows company networks to operate together, trading access much like phone networks do now, whereas a federated system only gives access to certain sanctioned business partners.

The comments were oddly timed given the pending rollout of Greenwich, which represents Microsoft's big splash into the corporate IM market. Greenwich is expected to be widely available in mid-2003.

At Microsoft, Gurle was responsible for the Greenwich program, and also oversaw Exchange Instant Messaging, Windows Messenger, Exchange Conferencing Server, and NetMeeting, Reuters said.

In his new role, Gurle will be responsible for the business and technical aspects of collaboration services at Reuters, the company said.

No one at Microsoft was immediately available to comment on his departure Thursday.

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