It’s fair to say that Microsoft Office is very different today from what it once was. And with its drive toward subscription-based software, perhaps Microsoft feels that it needs a new set of hands on the reins, as rumors abound that it may be set to appoint current CXO (that’s Chief Experience Officer) Julie Larson-Green as the new head of the enterprise software.
As with all rumors, this one comes from sources described by Recode as “familiar with the company’s plans,” so take what they say with a dash of salt, but there would certainly some sense behind the move. Larson-Green was once a top executive of the Office unit and has previously headed up the Windows engineering team — becoming the first woman ever to do so.
With a focus on user experience in much of her previous roles, perhaps Larson-Greene can help keep the Office software continually updated and something that people find a joy to use, as the way it’s marketed and maintained will be very different from Office software in the past. While Microsoft previously had to only worry about the point of sale (to an extent), now it needs to concern itself with having people re-up their subscriptions to the platform on a regular basis.
Along with the new role, Larson-Green would be expected to continue her duties as Microsoft’s Chief Experience Officer, where she will continue to focus on the — as she puts it — “people impact” of the technologies that Microsoft puts out.
That sort of thinking could really come into play with the management of Office, which Microsoft is hoping to grow exponentially, along with its companion applications, to help offset some of the mammoth cost of developing Windows 10. That cost of course is unlikely to be recouped by its initial release, as the OS was given away to many, many millions of Windows users for free.