Microsoft Corp. is outlining a reorganization plan that will give responsibility for Office 97 to Brad Silverberg, who currently heads up the Internet Platform and Tools division, according to internal sources.
Sources said the shift of the Desktop Applications division will be accompanied by other changes in the company's structure, including the creation of a new server division.
Silverberg will continue to oversee development tools, although ex-Borland International Inc. Vice President Paul Gross will take over the management of that group when he starts work at Microsoft in January.
The main thrust of Silverberg's new job will be to breathe new life into the Office suite, which some observers have called overweight. Some of the options that Microsoft will investigate include building a brand-new, Internet-based suite of tools for online content creation and making the pieces of the Office package more independent by turning them into ActiveX components.
The Desktop Applications division was under the oversight of Pete Higgins until a few weeks ago. Higgins was reassigned to head up the Consumer division following the departure of Patty Stonesifer.
In addition, Microsoft's Normandy server suite will move to Jim Allchin's group. Allchin is senior vice president of the Desktop and Business Systems division for the Redmond, Wash., company.