As the delay in its Windows Vista operating system upgrade makes waves on the technology pond, Microsoft is hoping a major management shakeup will calm the choppy waters.

The computer behemoth is to reorganize its biggest business division, which includes the Windows OS and MSN online services, to compete more effectively with the likes of search engine giant Google in the online advertising arena.

Ceo Steve Ballmer has moved some of Microsoft's rising stars into Windows Live, a key effort to provide more web-based offerings and to attract more online ads.

Spearheading the new unit is Steven Sinofsky, formerly an svp in charge of developing many of the company's Office business products.

In addition, Blake Irving, a vp at MSN, will now oversee the technical operations behind Windows Live and MSN. The role includes management of AdCenter, an online service for brokering ads.

Analyst Ted Schadler says the changes signal Microsoft's intention to give more power to those who market and sell products, decreasing the sway of the software developers.

Further confirmation of this new mindset is the elevation of Martin Taylor - once an assistant to the ceo - to corporate vp leading the marketing and branding behind Windows Live.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff