Our Experts

Microsoft enterprise strategy.

Mary Jo Foley is the Editor in Chief at Directions on Microsoft and is responsible for in front of the paywall content for Directions members and non-members alike. Before joining Directions, Mary Jo was the Editor of the "All About Microsoft" blog on ZDNET. She also was the co-host of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT Network. She has been a technology journalist for 35+ years and has focused on covering Microsoft exclusively for the majority of her career.

Mary Jo holds a B.A. in communications from Simmons College and an M.A. from George Washington University in public policy.

Azure, Windows Server, enterprise architecture, corporate governance

Before joining Directions on Microsoft in 2020, Barry worked at Microsoft for 12 years in a variety of roles, including as Chief Technology Officer for Microsoft’s own IT organization for 5 years. Prior to Microsoft, Barry spent several years as CTO for several successful startups, and before that, 11 years at Lotus Development, where he was the lead developer for Lotus 1-2-3, the best-selling application of its time, and a Lotus Fellow.

Barry holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Microsoft licensing agreements.

Larry Fletcher works with organizations to engineer Microsoft licensing agreements that minimize costs and reduce administrative complexity.

Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Larry spent fifteen years at Microsoft as a senior licensing executive where he was responsible for negotiating multi-million-dollar agreements with customers in the financial services, insurance, manufacturing, retail, mining, oil, gas, technology and telecommunications sectors. Prior to that, he was a content licensing manager for Infomart Dialog Limited.

Larry holds a B.A. in political science from York University and a Master’s in political economics from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Microsoft Teams, Windows Server, and enterprise infrastructure

Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Jim held positions in a broad range of industries including online gaming for Wizards of the Coast, enterprise infrastructure and operations for a global engineering consulting firm, and academic and research computing at University of Washington (Seattle) and The Ohio State University, where he also taught undergraduate computing courses.

Jim received a B.A. in philosophy with studies in computer science from The Ohio State University.

Microsoft licensing and negotiation strategies.

Dean Bedwell works with organizations to optimize their Microsoft licensing agreements. He also trains organizations on Microsoft licensing negotiation strategies and tactics.

Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Dean was president of Software Asset Advisors, a software licensing consultancy. Prior to that, Dean spent twelve years at Microsoft managing the Canadian Business Desk where he was responsible for negotiating agreements with Microsoft’s largest enterprise and public sector customers.

Dean received a B.A. in biology from McMaster University.

Business applications and services, developer tools, Office 365.

Joshua Trupin analyzes and writes about Office 365 and Microsoft Services.

Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Joshua spent over 19 years at Microsoft where he guided coverage of developer and IT topics as executive editor of MSDN Magazine and TechNet Magazine. Most recently, Joshua consulted with Fortune 500 companies as an application development manager with Microsoft Premier Developer.

Joshua received a B.A. in psychology from Yale University.

Data management, business intelligence, project management, enterprise resource planning, and customer relationship management.

Andrew analyzes and writes about Microsoft's data management, business intelligence, and machine learning solutions, as well as aspects of licensing


Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Andrew was vice president of IT for a global Fortune 500 company, where he directed overall IT activities and strategy for the company‘s global operations, including work sharing and collaboration, application design and development, communications, data center operations, security, compliance, procurement, and vendor management. Andrew also started and sold an independent software firm specializing in disparate data integration, cleansing, and analysis.

Andrew received a B.B.A. in information systems from Boise State University and an M.B.A. from Colorado State University.

Microsoft organization and partnering strategies.

Jeff Parker oversees Directions on Microsoft's publishing and training businesses. He also advises clients on Microsoft partnering strategies.

Prior to co-founding Directions on Microsoft in 1992, Jeff was vice president in the New York City office of investment bank Sonnenblick Goldman. Before that, he was an analyst and CPA in the Silicon Valley office of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Jeff holds a B.S. in accounting from California State University at Fresno and an M.B.A. from Wharton.

Microsoft licensing programs and policies.

Rob Horwitz analyzes and writes about Microsoft licensing programs and product licensing rules. He also trains organizations on best Microsoft licensing practices.

Before co-founding Directions on Microsoft in 1992, Rob spent eight years at Microsoft in a variety of software development and technical marketing roles. He was a software developer on the first version of Macintosh Word and marketed Microsoft operating system- and server-based products while in the developer relations, networking product marketing, international, and OEM marketing groups.

Rob holds a B.S. in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Wharton.

Azure infrastructure services, identity management, and systems management.

Wes Miller analyzes and writes about Azure infrastructure services, including Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Active Directory, and Microsoft systems management technologies.

Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Wes was a product manager and development manager for several Austin, TX, start-ups, including Winternals Software, acquired by Microsoft in 2006. Prior to that, Wes spent seven years at Microsoft working as a program manager in the Windows Core Operating System and MSN divisions.

Wes received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Windows client OS, Office communication services, corporate governance.

Before joining Directions on Microsoft in 2000, Michael worked at Microsoft for more than 10 years where he held a variety of technical and marketing positions, including program manager for Windows Embedded and Windows 2000 IntelliMirror. Michael also worked as a technical evangelist for Microsoft’s Developer Relations Group, advising independent software vendors with enterprise resource planning and accounting products on how to exploit Microsoft’s platforms for their products. Before that, he was a senior architectural engineer for Microsoft, assisting Microsoft’s large corporate customers in understanding Microsoft’s strategy and product directions. Prior to joining Microsoft, Michael supported local area networking at a variety of companies, including a large consulting engineering company.

Michael received a B.Sc. from Pace University, an M.B.A. from Regis University, and a J.D. from the Seattle University School of Law.

Product roadmap and corporate organization.

As managing vice president, Rob Helm leads the analyst team and directs coverage of Microsoft’s shifting product roadmap and corporate organization. His 19 years of experience analyzing Microsoft’s technology and strategy allows him to discern the company’s overall direction from the sometimes confusing and contradictory signals it sends to customers and the industry.

Rob previously has led Directions on Microsoft coverage of Microsoft’s database management systems, developer strategy, and embedded platforms. His 13 years of prior experience in the computer industry include research on advanced developer tools, optimization of cluster applications, design of network protocols at the University of Oregon, and design and implementation of databases for the U.S. Navy.

Rob received a B.S. in computer science and mathematics from the University of Puget Sound and an M.S. in computer science from the University of Oregon.

Azure, Visual Studio and other developer tools, C# and other programming languages, .NET, Exchange Server, and Xbox.

Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Rob worked at Microsoft for 14 years where he designed technologies for Microsoft products and services, including Exchange Server, BizTalk Server, and Xbox Live.

Rob received a B.S. in electrical, computer, and systems engineering from Harvard University.