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Microsoft announces major restructuring, push towards unified ecosystem starts now

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has today announced the rumoured major reorganisation of the tech giant, which he hopes will transform the company and enable it to cope with the rapidly changing tech landscape.

The new era at Microsoft will see the end of isolated divisions in favour of a “far-reaching realignment” that will encourage greater collaboration between the various software and hardware units across the company.

Beyond all the business-speak, what this means for us is the eventual unification of the Windows 8, Windows Phone and Xbox platforms, offering one app store for all and one development platform to ensure those apps work across the spectrum of devices.

Microsoft has been moving towards the eventuality for a while, but now it’s full steam ahead.

In a post entitled ‘Transforming our Company‘ Ballmer promised: “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.”

Small wearable? Hmmmm, interesting.

The transformation, which also involves a host of executives shifting roles or being shifted out completely, also emphasises Microsoft’s renewed focus on devices as well as software.

The mission statement challenges Microsoft to deliver “a definitive family of devices” to envelop the users daily experiences for work and play. Microsoft says no company has yet to achieve that goal.

Ballmer added: “We see tremendous room for innovation in software, services and hardware to bring the consumer this new, more complete and enveloping experience.

“Our family will include a full spectrum of both partner and first-party devices. We believe we need all of these categories to drive innovation, fulfill market desire for diversity of experience, and achieve volume.

“Our family will include phones, tablets, PCs, 2-in-1s, TV-attached devices and other devices to be imagined and developed. No other company has such strength across so many categories today, and yet this strength is essential to being relevant and personal throughout people’s lives.”

A separate memo sent to each of the company’s 100,000-odd employees, entitled “One Microsoft” uses buzzwords like nimble, communicative, collaborative, decisive and motivated and challenges employees to ‘seize the unique opportunity’

The strategy from bold and brave Ballmer looks pretty bold and brave, but is it the big guy’s last throw of the dice? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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