And The Next Office Chief Will Be...

Barbara Darrow

My guess is Kurt DelBene.

Then again, who knows?

Microsoft insiders now confirm that Steve Sinofsky, the Office chief, is moving over to Windows. They expect an announcement this week, although it was certainly nice of the Wall Street Journal to help them out on that.

The move sparks a LOT of follow up questions. Like, who can fill Sinofsky's shoes? He's almost legendary in the company for delivering product, pretty much on time, like clockwork. Office ships every 36 to 48 months, regardless of what the Windows team does. No small feat.

DelBene makes sense for many reasons. For one thing, he was prominently featured during yesterday's Office System Developers Conference. After Bill Gates and Sinofsky, he was The Man.

DelBene is currently corporate veep for the "Office Server Group of Microsoft Office System." (Maybe a future reorg will do something about Microsoft's silly titles?)

Other Sinofsky direct reports include Eric Patey (from Groove), Antoine LeBlond, Grant George, Jeanne Sheldon, Jeff Olund, Peter Pathe, Richard McAniff, Richard Wolf, and Terry Crowley. So maybe one of them will get the nod.

Also, check out Mini Microsoft's take on the Vista mess--and don't forget the comments!

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