Martin Taylor, a top marketing aide to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, has been fired abruptly left the company. Microsoft was notably tight-lipped about Taylor's departure, which had the effect of opening the door to widespread speculation about what might have gone on behind the scenes. Blogger ArsTechnica, for instance, speculates that Ray Ozzie, who is set to take over the product development duties from Bill Gates over the next two years, might be behind it.
A possible reason for Taylor's dismissal could be the fact that Ray Ozzie is set to take over Bill Gates' position in 2008, and he may want to assemble his own team of executives. That would make sense, especially at a time like this when the Live services are in their early stages.