Print 24 comment(s) - last by TheJian.. on Dec 21 at 5:52 PM

  (Source: The Seattle Times)
Former software President Kurt DelBene oversaw Office's cloud evolution, is married to rising Democratic Rep.

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama (D) announced today at a special meeting that he was tapping former Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Office President Kurt DelBene to take on the unenviable job of trying to fix the mess that is  His effort to overhaul the embattled homepage of the public healthcare progam that critics and supporters alike have nicknamed "Obamacare" may well be a tipping point in the program's success or failure.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius wrote in a press release on the President's behalf:

Kurt DelBene as my Senior Advisor and successor to Jeff Zients. Jeff did an outstanding job working with our team to provide management advice and counsel on the project. Today, the site is night and day from what it was when it launched on October 1. I am very grateful for his service and leadership. His role leading the management of the site proved critical and today we are announcing his successor: Kurt DelBene.

Kurt, who most recently served as president of the Microsoft Office Division, will lead and manage starting this Wednesday.

In his hunt for a replacement for former Office head Stephen Elop, who would commit to what turned out to be a brief stay as CEO of phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V), Steve Ballmer in Sept. 2010 selected Mr. DelBene -- a well-liked project leader.  Observers noted that Mr. DelBene came from an engineering track, not a business background.

Mr. DelBene had been with Microsoft since 1992, leading Exchange Server and Office project teams.  The pick evoked mix reactions.  Some within Microsoft and in the analyst community were unsured at the wisdom of putting someone who wasn't primarily business-minded in charge of such a large and complex unit.

Kurt DelBene
Kurt DelBene, new Obamacare fixer-upper, and former President of Microsoft Office [Image Source: Microsoft]

After the launch of Office 2010, Mr. DelBene's biggest effort while President of the Microsoft divison was in giving Office a fresh coat of cloud paint.  The result -- Office 365 -- has generally been praised and is growing in adoption, although some have complained that mobile clients are feature-deficient, even on Microsoft's own Windows Phones.  He also guided the launch of Office 2013, which also drew relatively good reviews.

While still pretty young in executive years, Mr. DelBene, 53, announced his decision to retire in the wind-up to a leadership shakeup and the software giant.  His last day was Dec. 16.

Mr. DelBene is following in the footsteps ofr Former Windows Server Director Steven von Roekel who was tapped by the President to be the nation's Chief of Information technology in 2011.

The retired Office leader appears to be the cavalry that Microsoft promised up to the Obama administration in Oct.  Ms. Sebelius said that Mr. DelBene "will be a tremendous asset to [the] work" and that he would work on the site for "at least the first half of next year."
This is what users should have been seeing...

After billions spent, the government's effort to build a one-stop shop for health insurance is still flawed, at best.
This is the error that instead greeted many users. [Image Source: ThinkProgress]

Frustrated taxpayers have unleashed some pretty harsh, but humorous parodies in the wake of these bugs. 404
[Image Source: DailyClash]

While the site has seen improvements since its Oct. 1 launch in terms of page load times and a lack of visible errors, it still continues to suffer from backend errors, losing user data, according to reports. fail
[Image Source: InsureBlog]

The site has also been deemed insecure by some experts, who say it could lead to unprecedented leaks of consumer healthcare records, a confidential medical file that's traditional tightly guarded.  But Ms. Sebelius tried to look at the glass-slightly-more-full remarking, "Today, the site is night and day from what it was when it launched."

Among other things, Mr. DelBene was reportedly a top proponent of the Ribbon UI and the blocky pastel "Modern UI" (aka Metro) -- features that tech fans tend to either love or hate.  It might not be altogether surprising to see a more Metro-styled emerged in months to come, perhaps serving as a free sales pitch for the visual style of Windows 8.x.

Credentials aside the appointment may raise a couple of eyebrows as his wife Rep. Suzan Kay DelBene (D-Wash., 1st District), 51, is a rising figure in the Democratic National Party's (DNP) Congressional ranks.  Before running for a state -- and later federal -- office (not to be confused with Office), she also worked at Microsoft, serving as a director of sales and business development from 1989-2007.

Source: HHS

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obama the clown
By MONTY9971 on 12/17/2013 8:02:58 PM , Rating: 1
obama has distroyed this county and why should anyone help this clown is beyond me and this guy has done this all with out a bomb straped to his body and the american people still support him. why why why

RE: obama the clown
By ddownes on 12/17/2013 8:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
can't believe this level of illiteracy dares post on this site

RE: obama the clown
By Reclaimer77 on 12/17/13, Rating: 0
RE: obama the clown
By stm1185 on 12/17/2013 9:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
So much much did this guy donate to Obama?

RE: obama the clown
By ClownPuncher on 12/18/2013 11:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
Much much donate Obama post money much post politics derp.

RE: obama the clown
By rountad on 12/18/2013 12:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
You know he meant, "So how much..."

RE: obama the clown
By ClownPuncher on 12/18/2013 3:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
I thought we were making fun of retarded posts.

RE: obama the clown
By rountad on 12/18/2013 5:42:53 PM , Rating: 2
Carry on, then...

RE: obama the clown
By Flunk on 12/17/13, Rating: 0
RE: obama the clown
By bitmover461 on 12/18/2013 9:42:47 AM , Rating: 4
This is not a small change. This is a disaster. Are you being ignorant or do you not know the difference between a president who lies and one who tells the truth?

RE: obama the clown
By MikeMurphy on 12/19/2013 8:42:37 PM , Rating: 3
The current system is a disaster, but most Americans haven't experienced better so they have no reference.

RE: obama the clown
By freedom4556 on 12/18/2013 2:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
Did you say hyperbolic?

Personally I'd say he was being tangential.

RE: obama the clown
By Beefmeister on 12/18/2013 12:05:52 AM , Rating: 2
Newsflash! Newsflash! Internet commentator declares end is nigh; life goes on!

RE: obama the clown
By phatboye on 12/18/2013 3:51:11 AM , Rating: 3
Regardless of if you like the ACA or not, fixing the federal ACA website doesn't help Obama it helps the American people you damned idiot. We payed for this website already and we deserve a website that works.

RE: obama the clown
By Reclaimer77 on 12/18/2013 12:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
So you want better working shackles to enslave yourself with?


RE: obama the clown
By Bobhacks on 12/18/2013 11:03:02 PM , Rating: 2
A country trying to provide healthcare for millions is completely the same as slavery......

I hate when people go extremes and say ACA is like slavery, or nazism or some other extreme.

If people hate obamacare stop trying to repel it and instead pass another law to fix it.

RE: obama the clown
By rountad on 12/20/2013 10:02:21 AM , Rating: 2
How about we stop trying to fix something that is fundamentally broken?

I refer to the idea that one man is responsible for the well-being of another adult.

We're not just doing the right things a little bit improperly; we are going in the wrong direction.

RE: obama the clown
By hiscross on 12/19/2013 10:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
I want my money back

By Geraldo8022 on 12/19/2013 9:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
Why don't Republicans want Americans to have affordable healthcare?
Medical costs are the #1 reason for bankruptcy in the USA.
Americans pay twice as much per capita for medical care than any other country. Do you think Americans get better healthcare than someone in Austria, Japan, Sweden, etc.
Republicans have no ideas other than being against Obama. None. And it stems from their being bigots.

RE: Republicans
By TheJian on 12/21/2013 5:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have a problem with legal AMERICANS getting "affordable" healthcare. My problem is I'm losing my GREAT care, and getting CRAP care, waiting in longer lines, my bill is rising, deductible quadrupling and getting shorted on pills etc, so they can "AFFORD" to pay for all the freeloaders hopping our border ILLEGALLY. I can't understand how you (or anyone else) think MY care will become MORE affordable (and better? You smoking crack?) while adding 20million illegals who have never paid a dime into this system and will cost us at every turn. I pay for 40-50 years into Social Security and will be lucky to see a penny if SS dies (which we already know it will if they keep spending like drunken sailors and giving away MY TAXES), but the illegal will get something the day they're legal (most don't speak a lick of english, have no career other than freeloading, get free education etc etc) and are a major reason I won't get a dime when I retire. At this point I'd like to see immigration mean you must have 20+yrs of a professional career, speak English as good as me, and a 4yr degree or you can't get in. Other countries ask for even more. Anyone voting for spanish labels on my food, spanish signs etc should be deported with the illegals as you're not ACTING like an AMERICAN. WE SPEAK ENGLISH. Don't like that? Don't want to do that? GET OUT.

Send them packing, 6 kids and all even if born here. You came illegally, I don't care HOW they do it, nor WHAT they do to you on the way out that makes you think about NEVER coming back. Getting deported should also mean you can NEVER come back legally. They only like coming here because we keep handing them FREE crap. Democrats only want them here because they will ALWAYS vote for people who GIVE them the FREE crap (democrats don't work for the little guy they steal from him - union dues etc don't help me these days either). While I'm really a fan of neither party these days, I like the one that votes (usually) for you to PAY YOUR OWN WAY. Note illegals massively exit places they deem HOSTILE toward them (like deny free stuff, watch them leave). Of course I prefer to speed this up x10 with fear/border drone strikes etc but whatever... ;)

I have patience, cash and even compassion for HOMELESS AMERICANS, but I have no mercy for ILLEGAL ALIENS nor politicians who want them LEGAL (I'm looking at you mccain! Get out of my state!). All of these people are stealing DIRECTLY from me and my care/welfare/children's education etc. I had affordable care a few months ago. Not now and it's only going to get worse.

Its comic they hired an exchange/office guy to run a SERVER repair project. I would have chosen the guy RUNNING SERVERS for websites, not email or office crap.

I'm seeing "the first guy was an abysmal failure, so we're trying again with another Billion of your tax dollars, to run something we shouldn't even be involved in as it's failed everywhere just like it's failing now here". To top that it won't cover more than another 10mil or so anyway while degrading it for everyone who already paid monthly premiums. No you can't KEEP YOUR PLAN...ROFL. By the way, your company is about to cancel the one YOU DID HAVE...LOL. And yes, the president knew this ages ago. People who weren't covered before ALWAYS were able to walk into a hospital and get care. My sister had no insurance and had a 20lb tumor removed FREE not long ago. The old system needed improvements not a complete HUGE overhaul that fails and raises prices.

By Nfarce on 12/18/2013 1:26:08 AM , Rating: 2 least that's what we've been told by Obama's handlers indirectly (and his media friends). Perhaps Politico stated it best:

"Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans," Politico wrote, "the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment system, one former administration official said.

So it's the GOP's fault the Obama administration hired a Canadian crony to oversee the development of the website...a crony who's azz was FIRED by Canada for OTHER failures.

This is truly becoming laughable. Sadly, at ALL our expense.

By Chaser on 12/18/2013 2:35:50 PM , Rating: 2
Here I thought the highly regarded tech team the Executive Branch brought in was supposed to cure all the ills of this website.
The administration said Zients would help lead the project, which will also include experts from Silicon Valley, government contractors and scholars working to fix the technical problems that have dogged the launch of the president’s signature healthcare program. 10/2013

By MONTY9971 on 12/19/2013 8:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
This is not a Republicans or Dem this this is a way of life thing deport the people that broke the law and came in this country and are taking our money and sending it back home they are also going to our hospitals getting free health care. if you want to come in this country come the right way just like everone did before. obama is a lier and the worst president we ever had Nixen who was impeached didnt lie he just didnt rat on his own people and took the fall this clown out right lies and nothing happens. WAKE UP PEOPLE this county use to be the best but we are going the way of the roman empire and obama is leading us there alot quicker. he is a joke a laughing stiock of the world. and no I am not a Republicans

By p05esto on 12/17/13, Rating: -1
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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