Microsoft isn't known as a company that hires many outsiders as executives, but yesterday the company announced that it has hired former AT&T Wireless and E*TRADE Financial executive Michael Sievert to the post of corporate vice president for Windows product management. Sievert will be responsible for marketing, product management, and planning for the client versions of Windows, which includes the upcoming Longhorn. He replaces 17-year Microsoft veteran Tom Button, who's been in the Windows management position since mid-2003. Button has been on a leave of absence for family medical reasons but is expected to return to the company in another position.
  
Sievert is an experienced executive who has worked for AT&T Wireless since 2002 as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Previously, he was executive vice president and chief global and sales officer at E*TRADE. His resume also includes various positions at IBM and The Procter & Gamble Company. 
  
Sievert is bringing his experience to the software giant as it works toward the release of the long-delayed Longhorn in 2006. "Mike's experience communicating the value of technology and services to a broad customer base--building E*TRADE into a billion-dollar business around the world and leading one of the largest and most complex marketing and sales operations in the United States at AT&T Wireless--will be invaluable to Microsoft's long-term efforts to grow the Windows ecosystem and to deliver Longhorn in 2006," said Sievert's new boss, Will Poole, senior vice president for the Windows Client Business.