Microsoft alters business units to focus on management

Microsoft has realigned a pair of business units to reflect an expansion of its plans to manage every piece of a customer's hardware from the PC to servers and storage systems, the company said Tuesday.

Microsoft has decided to rebrand its Management Business group as the Enterprise Management division, said David Hamilton, director of the newly formed group at Microsoft. Along with the renaming, this move will place three management products formerly shepherded by the Windows group under the charge of Bob Muglia, a senior vice president at the company and head of its storage unit.

"We have moved the products out of Windows where they lived into a brand-new division," Hamilton said. "This was an opportunity to broaden Bob's perspective and take on a different responsibility. It definitely shows that we have a wider ambition."

Microsoft has long eyed a bigger role in the data center, as it attempts to compete with vendors such as IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. that sell servers running the Unix and Linux operating systems. It has worked to beef up its upcoming Windows Server 2003 operating system as part of this effort but has also added to other parts of its product line.

The company, for example, appointed Muglia to head up its storage division last year. The executive has talked about adding new features into Windows down the road that would allow Microsoft to manage storage hardware in a similar way to current third-party software vendors.

Muglia will now also be in charge of the Windows Systems Management Server (SMS), Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) and Applications Center products, Hamilton said.

Microsoft will provide more details on these changes at the Microsoft Management Summit being held next week in Las Vegas.

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