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Microsoft revamp to keep up with technological changes

By Seema Hakhu Kachru
July 12, 2013 13:55 IST
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MicrosoftSoftware giant Microsoft has announced a long-awaited restructuring, organising itself around key areas designed to make the company more nimble in a fiercely-competitive technology sector.

The company said in a release that it will deliver multiple devices and services as a single company, rather than a collection of separate divisions, after completing its first major overhaul in five years.

As part of the reorganisation announced yesterday, Microsoft announced the president of its Microsoft Office division, Kurt DelBene, will be retiring.

Microsoft's last major reorganisation was in July 2008, when Chief Executive Steve Ballmer split the company's 'Platforms & Services Division' into three separate units - Windows, Online Services and Server and Tools.

The reorganisation process is expected to last through the end of the calendar year as Microsoft aims to "figure things out" the company said.

Ballmer said the realignment would make Microsoft "innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast-changing world," while helping the company "execute even better" in creating devices and services.

The company's move comes as traditional computers are taking a backseat to mobile devices, and the applications that support them.

As consumers migrate to tablets and smartphones, Microsoft has struggled to keep pace with the other top players in the technology sector like Google and Apple, and lacks a coherent mobile strategy, according to media reports.

The move won't take place overnight. According to Ballmer, the changes "will take through the end of the calendar year as we figure things out and as we keep existing teams focused on current deliverables like Windows 8.1, Xbox One, Windows Phone, etc."

As part of the rejig, the company named Julie Larson-Green as head of devices and studios engineering group, overseeing hardware development, games, music and entertainment.

Terry Myerson will head up Microsoft's operating systems and engineering group, which includes Windows.

Satya Nadella, as the head of the new cloud and enterprise group, will manage the network of data centers that power all of Microsoft's online services, in addition to Windows Azure, the cloud service he has been running for some time, the company said. Tony Bates has been appointed as Head of the Business Development and Evangelism Group.

Ballmer also noted that culturally, Microsoft's core values won't be changing, but "how we express them and act day to day must evolve."

H pinpointed five key focal points he reckons are imperative for company to evolve -- nimble, communicative, collaborative, decisive and motivated.

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Seema Hakhu Kachru in Houston
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