The Windows operating systems, virtualization technologies, software development practices, and scheduling
Before joining Directions on Microsoft in 2000, Michael Cherry 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. He was also a senior architectural engineer for Microsoft, assisting Microsoft’s large corporate customers in understanding Microsoft’s strategy and product directions. With a desire to understand how Microsoft’s products work in the real world, Michael spent time with Microsoft Consulting Services, deploying Windows NT and Exchange and designing domain and deployment strategies for Microsoft’s customers. Michael started at Microsoft as a systems engineer for Microsoft LAN Manager.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Michael supported local area networking at a variety of companies, including a large consulting engineering company.
Michael received his B.Sc. in biology 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 16 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 his B.S. in computer science and mathematics from the University of Puget Sound and his M.S. in computer science from the University of Oregon.
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.
Windows and Windows Server, including deployment, security, and operating system internals.
Wes Miller analyzes and writes about Microsoft's SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and Windows operating systems.
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 his B.A. in psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
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.
Systems management and security offerings, including System Center and Forefront products
Don Retallack analyzes and writes about Microsoft's systems management and security offerings, including System Center and Forefront products.
Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Don managed technology evaluation for the Boeing Company, where he tracked IT trends and their potential impact on Boeing’s operations. Don also assessed and transitioned new technologies into Boeing’s various business units, including the 787 airplane program. Before joining Boeing, Don was head of the Computer Division at the Very Large Array radio observatory. He also spent a year in Antarctica with the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition.
Visual Studio and other developer tools, C# and other programming languages, the .NET Framework, the Windows Azure platform, Windows Phone, Xbox, and Exchange Server
Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Rob Sanfilippo worked at Microsoft for 14 years where he designed technologies for Microsoft products and services, including Exchange Server, BizTalk Server, and Xbox Live.
Rob holds a B.S. in electrical, computer, and systems engineering from Harvard University.
Business applications and services, enterprise application development, and collaboration infrastructure
Before joining Directions on Microsoft, Andrew Snodgrass worked as corporate vice president of IT for a global Fortune 500 company, where he was responsible for overall IT activities supporting company global operations, including work sharing and collaboration, enterprise application design and development, WAN optimization, data center replication and balancing, remote access security, and external vendor management. Andrew also started and sold an independent software firm specializing in disparate data integration and analysis.
Andrew received his B.B.A. in information systems from Boise State University and an M.B.A. from Colorado State University.
Directions does a great job of presenting information specific to Microsoft that Gartner isn't — information you can't easily find in any other source
I love the reports, especially the reports focusing on SharePoint. They empower our technical team to implement critical features and develop strategic plans that tie in with the Microsoft Roadmap