Microsoft drafts .NET chief to lead Azure cloud war

Can red polo shirted strongman woo developers?


.NET fan favorite Scott Guthrie has been elevated in a Microsoft reorg intended to "sharpen its focus" and win greater support among developers for the company's push into the cloud.

.NET developer platform corporate vice president Guthrie has been chosen to drive development of the Windows Azure Application Platform, and to help win developers to Microsoft's answer to clouds from Amazon, Google, and OpenStack.

S. Somasegar, developer division senior vice president, is reported to have said in a memo to employees seen by ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley that the company needs a "strong leader to help drive the development of our Cloud Application Platform and help us win developers for Azure."

Guthrie lately led Microsoft's Silverlight browser-based media player, which was supposed to be Microsoft's answer to Flash, but which was instead demoted last year when Microsoft embraced HTML5.

Before that, however, Guthrie was instrumental in building and delivering .NET, one of Microsoft's biggest-ever architectural changes, introducing C# and the CLI in 2000 – which are today taken for granted. He has helped lead the design and build work of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework since 1999.

Guthrie is popular among Microsoft devs at events and online, famed as much for his geeky charm and red polo shirts as for his deep technology expertise.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The Reg about Guthrie's move: "We needed a passionate leader for bringing developers to the Windows Azure platform. Scott has been increasingly responsible for areas that are of great importance to Azure, and his technical expertise and passion are key to helping Azure take the next step in these areas."

The spokesperson said the move doesn't indicate a change to Silverlight's development, and that the company remains committed to Silverlight for web and mobile.

Guthrie now reports to senior vice president of the server and tools group's business platform division Ted Kummert, having earlier reported to Somasegar.

In other changes, Microsoft has combined developer tools marketing with developer platform evangelism. Also, the general manager of Microsoft's High Performance Computing group Kyril Faenov has been assigned to the role of attracting more startups and "rapidly growing workloads" to the cloud.

All changes take effect in June – once current "milestones" have been completed – and ahead of what Somasegar called "exciting and important deliverables in the next 6-12 months."

Somasegar didn't provide details about what deliverables he was referring to, but so far we are expecting Silverlight 5 in September along with an Internet Explorer 10 beta and a beta of Windows 8. These are all looking likely for a Microsoft developer conference that the company has assiduously avoided naming, but is expected to be its annual Professional Developers' Conference (PDC). ®


Other stories you might like

  • Robotics and 5G to spur growth of SoC industry – report
    Big OEMs hogging production and COVID causing supply issues

    The system-on-chip (SoC) side of the semiconductor industry is poised for growth between now and 2026, when it's predicted to be worth $6.85 billion, according to an analyst's report. 

    Chances are good that there's an SoC-powered device within arm's reach of you: the tiny integrated circuits contain everything needed for a basic computer, leading to their proliferation in mobile, IoT and smart devices. 

    The report predicting the growth comes from advisory biz Technavio, which looked at a long list of companies in the SoC market. Vendors it analyzed include Apple, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, TSMC, Toshiba, and more. The company predicts that much of the growth between now and 2026 will stem primarily from robotics and 5G. 

    Continue reading
  • Deepfake attacks can easily trick live facial recognition systems online
    Plus: Next PyTorch release will support Apple GPUs so devs can train neural networks on their own laptops

    In brief Miscreants can easily steal someone else's identity by tricking live facial recognition software using deepfakes, according to a new report.

    Sensity AI, a startup focused on tackling identity fraud, carried out a series of pretend attacks. Engineers scanned the image of someone from an ID card, and mapped their likeness onto another person's face. Sensity then tested whether they could breach live facial recognition systems by tricking them into believing the pretend attacker is a real user.

    So-called "liveness tests" try to authenticate identities in real-time, relying on images or video streams from cameras like face recognition used to unlock mobile phones, for example. Nine out of ten vendors failed Sensity's live deepfake attacks.

    Continue reading
  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022