Microsoft has created a new division bringing its cloud and on-premises software development together to provide a consistent platform for corporate customers.
The Server and Cloud Division (SCD) will be part of the Server and Tools business unit and is a combination of the Windows Server and solutions group and the Windows Azure group.
The move is the first major re-organisation to align Microsoft's on-premises and cloud efforts from an organisational standpoint.
The Windows Azure development team is moving from under Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's chief software architect, and will be led by Bob Muglia, president of server and tools.
Ozzie "will continue to remain involved in Microsoft's cloud strategy and service offerings, he also is very involved in what's occurring in the realm of social software," according to a Microsoft spokesman. And Ozzie will continue to be responsible for oversight of the company's technical strategy and product architecture, the spokesman said.
"The new organisation ...signifies that we've moved beyond an advanced development project to an important and growing business for Microsoft," the Windows Azure team wrote on its blog.
Microsoft launched Azure at its Professional Developers Conference last month and will begin to collect fees from those using the cloud infrastructure beginning in February 2010.
The Windows Server division wrote on its blog that the change "reflects the alignment of our resources with our strategy, and represents a natural evolution for Microsoft."
Amitabh Srivastava, who helped create the Azure cloud operating system, will lead SCD and report to Muglia. Corporate vice president Bill Laing, who led the Windows Server and solutions group, will report to Srivastava. Doug Hauger, who leads the Windows Azure business and marketing team, will continue in that role and join the server and tools marketing group led by corporate vice president Robert Wahbe. Wahbe will report to corporate vice president Bob Kelly, who is also responsible for Windows Server, System Center and Forefront.
Microsoft has been preaching its software plus services strategy, which combines on-premises software, cloud infrastructure and cloud services such as Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
The alignment not only brings together server OS and database development but also adds development tools and system management software under the same umbrella.
In addition, Microsoft is also bringing "the benefits of a unified global marketing, sales and engineering effort to Windows Azure," according to a company spokesman.
The Windows Server team wrote on its blog that "together, Windows Server, Windows Azure, SQL Server, SQL Azure, Visual Studio and System Center help customers extend existing investments to include a future that will combine both on-premises and cloud solutions, and SCD is now a key player in that effort."