At this point Microsoft’s board could be called a horde, it’s so large. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: having more smart people is usually better than having fewer.
Today Microsoft announced that Stephen Luczo has been appointed to its board of directors. He is its 11th member. Luzco is both president and CEO of Seagate, the hard drive giant which has its nexus in Cupertino, California.
Bill Gates, Microsoft’s chairman, praised the move: “Steve has deep technology and financial expertise, and we are delighted that he is joining Microsoft’s board of directors.” I’m not sure what it feels like to have Bill Gates talk you up, but I sure bet it feels nice.
The move is likely strategic in nature. Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system will require current original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to rethink how they build computers. Seagate’s work will therefore be in a flux, as OEMs will be looking for new ways forward.
Having Seagate close means that Microsoft will have a direct line to a company deep in the PC trenches. Also, having Seagate on the board will provide a communication loop from the other direction: from OEMs to Microsoft. Current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hinted at just such a relationship: “As the leader of a global company with more than 50,000 employees, with deep insights into storage, hardware, data management, and finance, Steve will bring a wealth of experience to our board.”
Having a hardware expert on the board of a software company might sound strange, but it could bring Microsoft just what it needs, as the company looks to touch and other methods of accepting user input that are set to shake up where, and how we use our computers.