Microsoft Is to Undergo Major Reorganization
Microsoft has detailed their plan for a major reorganization. All OSes will be under one lead. Other engineering areas will be Apps, Cloud and Devices.
Amidst the longest PC sales decline in history and fighting from the third place in the mobile space, Microsoft is taking action and reshuffles the entire organization. Their strategy is to create by themselves or through third parties “a family of devices and services for individuals and businesses”. According to a memo to their employees, the list of devices includes “phones, tablets, PCs, 2-in-1s, TV-attached devices and other devices to be imagined and developed.” Microsoft does not detail which devices will be create in house and which by others. It is unlikely they will start making PCs, but we may expect them to produce their own phones and more entertainment devices besides Xbox.
All those devices are to share a “common user-interface approach tailored to each hardware form factor”, using a “common set of services such as the same account login,” and a common infrastructure, in other words one ecosystem that provides a unified experience from the individual user to the enterprise:
We will strive for a single experience for everything in a person’s life that matters. One experience, one company, one set of learnings, one set of apps, and one personal library of entertainment, photos and information everywhere. One store for everything. Microsoft has the clear opportunity to offer consumers a unified experience across all aspects of their life, whether the screen is a small wearable, a phone, a tablet, an 85-inch display or other screens and devices we have not yet even imagined.
Developers targeting Microsoft’s ecosystem are to be provided with a “common programming model that makes it easy to target more than one device.”
In order to achieve this consolidation, Microsoft is reorganizing itself by functions: Engineering , Marketing, Business Development and Evangelism, Advanced Strategy and Research, Finance, HR, Legal, and COO (field, support, commercial operations and IT). The Engineering domain will contain 4 areas:
- OS – will include all OSes for PCs, smartphones, consoles, servers, etc. Led by Terry Myerson.
- Apps and Services – Productivity, communication, search and other apps and services. Led by Qi Lu.
- Cloud and Enterprise – Cloud, datacenter and database technologies. Led by Satya Nadella.
- Devices and Studio. – Includes hardware development and supply chain. Led by Julie Larson-Green.
This new structure is supposed to “enable more cross- group contribution, while maintaining confidentiality of some projects as needed.”
The Dynamics group led by Kirill Tatarinov will continue to be separate. Marketing and business strategy will no longer belong to individual divisions but they will be one across the entire company. The CEO remains the same, Steve Ballmer.
Kurt DelBene, President of the Office Division, will retire from Microsoft. Craig Mundie, Senior CEO Advisor, will gradually step off, being a consultant until the end of 2014. Rick Rashid, Chief Research Officer, will step down and get involved in OS research.
These changes are to be performed in the following months being completed before the year is over.
It is clear from these changes that Microsoft wants to have a more coordinate approach to the development and marketing of their products. Many of the organizational walls will disappear leaving room for more collaboration and the implementation of a unified strategy. We are to expect a stronger Microsoft identity across operating systems, applications and devices.
Chris Mattmann Apr 15, 2014