SQL Server, with Windows and Office, helped make Microsoft. The database sits in a $13bn business unit and while Microsoft’s server products grew 11 per cent – $1.7bn last year – that was driven primarily by sales of SQL Server.
The man who paved the path was Bob Muglia. A 24-year Redmond veteran, he was SQL Server’s first product manager and led the server and tools business.
That was until 2011, when he was elbowed out by ex-CEO Steve Ballmer in a disagreement over strategy for the server and tools business.
Also, the 2008 DATAllegro acquisition, to build a Netezza-like appliance, had proved to little and too late for Microsoft as the market had moved.