The departure is a mystery among analysts and other Microsoft observers, as the company gave little indication for the sudden move.
"We've made the difficult decision to part ways with Martin Taylor but we don't comment on personnel matters," a company spokesperson said in a statement on the matter.
A day before the announcement, Microsoft had released an extensive question-and-answer press release with Taylor, who was promoted in March to build up the marketing campaigns for both MSN and Windows Live. He was expected to make the rounds with reporters and analysts this week to talk about the company’s upcoming plans for Windows Live.
A 13-year employee of the Redmond, Wash. company, Taylor was also said to be close with CEO Steve Ballmer. Prior to taking over his last post, Taylor had run platform strategy in the Windows group just as the operating system was seeing increased pressure from a range of Linux-based operating systems.
It is unclear who will replace Taylor in the position.