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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will leave Microsoft’s board of directors in November, the two parties announced today.

“I’m thrilled to have served on the board at such a pivotal time for Microsoft, including the development of Windows 8, Windows RT, and Microsoft Surface, which will bring exciting new opportunities for customers and the industry as a whole,” Hastings said in a statement. “I’ve decided to reduce the number of boards I serve on so that I can focus on Netflix and on my education work.”

Hastings joined Microsoft’s board in March 2007 and no doubt provided some ideas to help it again become an innovative force. On top of Microsoft, Hastings serves on the boards of Netflix, Facebook, Dreambox Learning, the Knowledge Is Power Program, and the California Charter Schools Association. That makes for quite the busy schedule, and it’s understandable that he’d want to lighten his burden.

However, Microsoft has signaled its intentions to provide more media services, and it’s possible a conflict of interest is driving Hastings away from the board. With Microsoft adding movies rentals to Windows 8, it may not want to give Hastings info on future plans.

Of course, Microsoft’s statement gives no indication to why Hastings is leaving and simply praises him:

“Reed has been a terrific board member, and his insights and experience have really helped guide us through a critical period of transformation for both Microsoft and the industry,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement.

Reed Hastings photo: Flickr