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Windows Veteran Mike Nash Leaving Microsoft

Microsoft confirmed that long-time Windows stalwart, Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows platform strategy, is leaving effective before the end of February.

Nash, who has been at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) for 19 years, spent much of his time at the company shepherding various versions of Windows out into the marketplace, and was a driving force behind Microsoft's increased focus on security in its products.

"We can confirm that Mike Nash is leaving Microsoft in a couple weeks. In his 19 years, Mike made an impact in a number of key roles at the company. We appreciate his service and wish him well," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to

According to his bio on Microsoft's Web site, Nash was the first product manager on the original Windows NT marketing team. Along the way, he also played a role in making sure that Windows 7 shipped on time.

In between, he headed the company's efforts to focus more closely on making security an integral part of Microsoft product design and organizing its security response organization.

One current analyst, who worked with Nash at Microsoft, praised his management style.

"I always found him to be a real straight shooter," Michael Cherry, research vice president for operating systems at analysis firm Directions on Microsoft told

"He always gave you an answer, although it might not be the answer you wanted," he added.

Cherry said that Nash was also responsible for the launch of NT's follow on, Windows 2000, which a year later led to Windows XP.

"Windows 2000 was really a turning point for NT [because] it's when it really started to become the operating system that it is today" in products like Windows 7, he added.

In the early 2000s, Nash moved over to head up CEO Steve Ballmer's security initiative. He left that role in mid-2006, ultimately returning to Windows marketing.

Management shuffle at Microsoft; Nash to Amazon?

Nash is the second senior Windows executive to leave Microsoft in the past month. He follows Senior Vice President Bill Veghte, who announced his departure in mid-January.

Cherry suggested that recent departures by Nash, Veghte, and others may be an indication that there is little room to move up the executive ladder in a mature business like Microsoft.

Meanwhile, rumors abounded Wednesday that Nash will move to to head up the Kindle e-reader project. Microsoft could not corroborate those rumors, and a call to Amazon for comment was not returned by publication time.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.