Microsoft to Merge U.S. Government, Education Businesses

As Microsoft's fiscal 2004 kicks into full swing, the Redmond software company is continuing to hone its organizational structure. One change likely to be announced soon is the merger of Microsoft's U.S. government operations with its education services business, according to one Microsoft vice president.

"We are increasing our staff across EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and to integrate government and education. The goal is to do something similar in the U.S.," said Pete Hayes, vice president, public sector, for Microsoft EMEA. (Until May 1, Hayes had been the head of Microsoft's U.S. government business). The newly merged business will likely be known as Microsoft's U.S. public sector unit, as is Hayes' unified government-education unit overseas.

Microsoft's expected move to combine government and education comes at an interesting time. "We ... see Linux being heavily used in the academic environment and increasingly being evaluated by government, particularly overseas," acknowledged Microsoft chief financial officer John Connors in an investment conference speech in June. "In certain geographies of the world there is a notion — we think misguided — that you build a software industry on things that are free. That's not likely to happen in our view from an economic perspective, but that is a view in certain geographies that we're working hard to get the story out about how the commercial software industry works.

News source: Microsoft Watch

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