Business

Massive restructure to hit Microsoft

'Titanic' changes at Microsoft: Will CEO Steve Ballmer create an ecosystem to rival Apple's?
'Titanic' changes at Microsoft: Will CEO Steve Ballmer create an ecosystem to rival Apple's? Independent News & Media

MICROSOFT CEO Steve Ballmer is set to reveal a massive restructuring of the company on July 1, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal's technology blog, All Things D.

The changes are reportedly being overseen almost solely by Ballmer, with an end goal of changing Microsoft into a "devices and services company" - focusing on devices such as the Windows Phone, the Xbox and Microsoft Surface, and services like SkyDrive, Skype and Bing.

This new direction was indicated in the company's 2012 shareholder letter where Ballmer stressed the need for Microsoft to continue to deliver cloud services - for both consumers and enterprise - as well as "firmly establishing one platform, Windows" across a range of devices.

The Verge is reporting that Ballmer is considering reorganizing the company into four distinct divisions - enterprise business, hardware, applications and services and a group focused on operating systems - whilst also focusing on greater cohesion between Windows 8 and the Windows Phone operating system.

Creating unified ecosystems for mobile and desktop seems to be a common theme for big tech companies at the moment, and might position Microsoft to challenge the king of the ecosystem - Apple - more effectively.

Apple's WWDC conference attracted a lot of attention for its iOS 7 redesign, but it also unveiled a number of features that will tie together iOS, the upcoming OS X Mavericks, and its cloud services. There was a new Apple Maps app for desktop; a rebooted calendar app with an improved notification system synced across devices; iBooks for the desktop with streamlined notes and annotations; and even a revamped cloud-centric iWork for desktops, phones and tablets - slick enough to pose a challenge to Office.

You can compare these changes with Microsoft finally offering Office for mobiles (only for Office 365 subscribers - again, pushing users into the cloud); its shared tile-based UI for Surface, Windows Phone and the new Xbox One (though it's important to note that a shared look is not the same as a shared platform for developers - there are still separate Windows Stores for Phone and Surface); as well as the revamp of Outlook into a unified mail-and-calendar system, making the programme available for free at the beginning of this month.

For every Apple feature there seems to be a Microsoft twin, and vice versa: we might, for example, consider Apple TV as a 'console' to rival the Xbox. Although there's currently no games involved (yet - see the final chunk of this article) for the box's status as Apple's "hobby" it's not doing so badly, especially considering sales figures - around 6.5 million in the last 12 months.

Whatever changes Ballmer announces on July 1st, it seems they'll be pretty substantial:

"It feels like it is going to be titanic - that Steve is doing this change for his legacy," a source told All Things Digital. "And it's the first time in a long time that it feels like that there will be some major shifts, including some departures."

Some departures from the executive level are to be expected  in any major reshuffle, but many hope that Microsoft will be leaving behind old practices as well.

Topics:  apple, games and gadgets, microsoft, restructure, steve ballmer




Third man arrested over Mundubbera murder

Gary Ryan died on Tuesday after being stabbed multiple times. Police have launched a homicide investigation.

Third man arrested over the murder of Gary Ryan

Coffee shop wants to reopen in Bundy

TOP DROP: Zaraffa's barista Taylor Doyle.

Zaraffa's advertises for franchisee

Latest deals and offers

Gladstone couple's spontaneous Gympie Muster wedding

Craig Oglesby and Brenda Strong celebrate their wedding at the Gympie Muster with punters in front of the Main Stage.

The Gympie Music Muster was the perfect place for a wedding.

Australian Survivor's Peter: I'm no quitter

Australian Survivor contestant Peter Fiegehen.

ILLNESS forces castaway's early exit from Samoa.

Diva's sister on soliciting charge

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Mariah Carey attends the 27th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, in New York. Carey will appear on the Oct. 5 episode of the Fox series, \"Empire,\" the network confirmed Monday at a TV critics bi-annual press tour. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey's sister has been arrested on charges of prostitution.

Tom Cruise private jets his gym kit around the world

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise charters private to take his gym kit around the world

Movie behind Depp and Heard split to be released

Soon you'll be able to see the movie that ended the marriage

Bindi's boyfriend helps release huge croc

Chandler (far right) helped the jump team.

Chandler Powell helps catch Duncan the croc

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m