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Microsoft to reshuffle Windows unit

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Microsoft plans to reorganize its Windows unit, creating a new division more tightly focused on the development of the core operating system, CNET News.com has learned.

The new division, dubbed the Windows Core division, will be headed by Brian Valentine, according to a source familiar with the company's plans. Valentine currently serves as senior VP of the Windows division. The move to have a unit more tightly focused on development work comes as Microsoft is ramping up efforts around Longhorn, the next major version of Windows, which is expected to be released in late 2005 or 2006. Other software makers, including Oracle, have set up units focused on core technology in the past, leaving the work of creating specific products to separate teams.

Such a move would more narrowly focus Valentine's responsibilities, one analyst said. "He's a very inspiring leader, and I think he really motivates the technical teams," said Rob Helm, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, an independent market research firm. A Microsoft representative declined comment. The company is expected to announce the reorganization later on Monday. Longhorn is seen as a critical development project for Microsoft. The company plans to offer both server and desktop operating systems based on the new technology and will also tie the release of a new version of Office and several pieces of server software to the arrival of Longhorn.

News source: C|net

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