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Key Ballmer adviser leaves Microsoft

Martin Taylor, who led the software maker's anti-Linux "Get the Facts" campaign, is no longer with Microsoft.

Martin Taylor, a key adviser to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, has left the software maker.

Taylor, a 13-year company veteran who led Microsoft's "Get the Facts" anti-Linux crusade for several years, was named in March as a corporate vice president overseeing the marketing push for Windows Live services.

Martin Taylor Martin Taylor

Before he led the "Get the Facts" campaign, Taylor served as director of business strategy, working directly for Ballmer on various strategic projects and on long-term planning for the company. Prior to that, he spent more than two years as general manager of Microsoft's Caribbean unit.

"We've made the difficult decision to part ways with Martin, but we don't comment on personnel matters," Microsoft said in a statement. "We appreciate Martin's contributions at Microsoft over the past 13 years."

Microsoft didn't say whether Taylor's duties had been assigned to another executive at the company.

Taylor, reached at his home, declined comment on his departure. His departure was reported earlier Tuesday by Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal.

Highlighting the abruptness of the departure, both reports noted that Taylor had been quoted Monday in a press release announcing Windows Live Messenger, the new version of Microsoft's instant messaging software.

Microsoft has in the past week announced a series of major personnel changes. Last Thursday, the company said that Chairman Bill Gates would relinquish his role of chief software architect and curtail his full-time presence at the software maker.

The company appointed Ray Ozzie, who came to Microsoft in 2005, to take over as chief software architect. Craig Mundie, a veteran Microsoft executive, was tapped to assume Gates' responsibilities for the company's research and incubation efforts.

Ozzie has emerged as a key figure at the software giant, having authored a strategy memo that's served as a call-to-arms to spark Microsoft's services push. That strategy includes the Windows Live services positioning that Taylor was charged with managing.

According to Taylor's bio, posted to Microsoft's Web site, his duties included "business leadership as well as product and marketing management for Windows Live services, and the Microsoft Live platform. He was responsible for developing the overall Live brand and bringing new Microsoft Live services and innovations to customers."