According to an internal memo leaked to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie who is currently Corporate VP of the .NET Developer Platform is moving to lead the Azure Application Platform team. This means he will report to Ted Kummert who is in charge of the Business Platform Division, instead of S Somasegar who runs the Developer Division; however both divisions are part of the overall Server and Tools Division. Server and Tools is the division from which Bob Muglia was ousted as president in January; the reason for this is still not clear to me, though I would guess at some significant strategy disagreement with CEO Steve Ballmer.
Guthrie was co-inventor of ASP.NET and is one of the most approachable of senior Microsoft execs; he is popular and respected by developers and his blog is one of the first places I look for in-depth and hands-on explanations of new features in Microsoft’s developer platform, such as ASP.NET MVC and Entity Framework.
I have spent a lot of time researching and using Visual Studio 2010, and while not perfect it is among the most impressive developer products I know, from the detail of the editor and debug features right through to ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) aspects like Team Foundation Server, testing in various forms, and build management. Some of that quality is likely due to Guthrie’s influence. The successful evolution of ASP.NET from web forms towards the leaner and more flexible ASP.NET MVC is another achievement in which I am sure he played a significant role.
Is it wise to take Guthrie away from his first love and over to the Azure platform? Only Microsoft can answer that, and of course he will still be responsible for an ASP.NET platform. I’d guess that we will see further improvement in the Visual Studio tools for Azure as well.
Still, it is a bold move and one that underlines the importance of Azure to the company. In my own research I have gained increasing respect for Azure and I would expect Guthrie’s arrival there to be successful in winning attention from the Microsoft platform developer community.